China criticized the US Thursday as a hypocrite, saying the US condemned China’s anti-satellite test last year, but then conducted its own in Wednesday’s shootdown of a potentially hazardous derelict spy satellite. US STRATCOM commander Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton said China’s charges were ludicrous. “There’s no comparison” of the two events, he said. China’s act was a “test shot to complete an ASAT development” program, which left debris in orbit that will pose a hazard to manned spacecraft and satellites for decades. It was done with “no warning.” The US shot, though, was conducted in “full transparency,” with notifications made around the world. It was made “as low as we thought prudent” and all the debris will have fallen to Earth within a year. The slightly increased risk to satellites will have passed within 48 hours, he said. And, he added, in the remote chance that anyone was hurt by the falling debris, C-17s were on alert at McGuire AFB, N.J. to bring aid to anyone who needed it. (Read more in Operation Burnt Frost “Historic”)
When the Air Force sets a new program baseline for the B-52 re-engining this fall, there will be “some” cost increase, because the project wasn't previously fully funded, and the Air Force has a better handle on actual supplier costs and knowledge from ground testing, program officials said.