Ex-Russian air force commander slams US "space plane"
Former Russian air force commander Anatoly Kornukov has sharply criticized the US launch of an unmanned space craft, saying that Russia now needs to develop a new defence system against space and air attacks, Russian media reported Friday.
A rocket carrying the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, commonly referred to as the "space plane," took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida late Thursday, DPA reported.
The space craft will significantly increase US fighting power and shows that the country has ambitions to "reach space and threaten us," Kornukov argued.
"The US has completely spit on calls from Russia and the world to abandon plans for the deployment of weapons in space," he said.
Moscow has to react with "actions instead of words," he added.
"The aggressors from space could turn Russia into something like Iraq or Yugoslavia," Kornukov said, referring to the destruction caused by past US air raids in both countries.
The US Air Force has flatly rejected suggestions that the X-37 project could mark the beginning of the weaponization of space.