The reported manoeuvres come after US President Donald Trump presented the country’s new Missile Defence Review last week, saying that in line with the document, Washington “will recognise that space is a new war-fighting domain, with the Space Force leading the way”.

Russian surveillance systems have detected the separation of two smaller space vehicles from a large US military satellite in geostationary orbit, according to a document from the Astro-Cosmic Scientific Centre which Russian Media obtained.

The document said that the separation of two sub-satellites, USA-285 and USA-286, from the EAGLE carrier vehicle was tracked by the Russian Automated Warning System for Hazardous Situations in Outer Space on 23 April 2018.

An analysis of the sub-satellites’ movements revealed “an unpredictable change in the trajectory of one of them, which may be a sign of its manoeuvring capabilities”, the document concluded.

On April 14, the US rocket Atlas V launched two US Air Force satellites into orbit, including the Continuous Broadcast Augmenting SATCOM (CBAS) and the experimental ESPA Augmented GEO Laboratory Experiment (EAGLE) demonstrator.

The reported satellite manoeuvres come about a week after US President Donald Trump presented the country’s new Missile Defence Review, which aims to strengthen and expand country’s missile defence capabilities on land, sea, and in space amid alleged fears it will spark a nuclear crisis with Russia and China.

According to the document, the US will explore space-based interceptors as a means of engaging, with offensive missiles in their boost phase in order to boost its missile defence capabilities.

The new review also pushes for developing a layer of space-based sensors that will enhance US capabilities to detect and track more complex missile threats.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, for its part, warned that the new US Missile Defence Review leads to the revival of the Reagan-era Star Wars program at a higher technological level.

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