Spacecom: U.S. Has Tracked 11,000 Launches In Ukraine-Russia Conflict

U.S. Space Command chief Gen. James Dickinson
Credit: U.S. Defense Department

COLORADO SPRINGS—The U.S. military says it has tracked more than 11,000 missile launches since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022 and is working to  bolster Kyiv’s real-time awareness of the fighting.

U.S. Space Command Gen. James Dickinson highlighted the figure during a speech at the annual Space Symposium here, showcasing how the young force is contributing to global, real-world operations.

“Since the beginning of the conflict, U.S. Space Command also has provided more than 11,000 indications and warnings of theater launches to the NATO allies as well as our U.S. partners,” Dickinson says. “So suffice it to say, we’re busy, but busy doing good things for folks and units around the world.”

Throughout the conflict, Spacecom has prioritized “many different assets” to help Ukraine and increase NATO’s awareness, including satellite communications. Dickinson says the command has provided “more than an additional gigabyte of data to support communications across the European continent.”

Announcements of U.S. aid for Ukraine, both in the presidential drawdown of existing equipment and new contracts under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, have highlighted satellite communications and terminals that are being provided. This has largely focused on SpaceX Starlink terminals, though additional satellite communications equipment and services have been provided.

The real-time tracking of launches has also provided Ukraine with targeting opportunities. In early March, Gen. James Hecker, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, told reporters that when the U.S. has detected a launch of a long-range missile, the Pentagon’s Security Assistance Group-Ukraine in Germany has shared these “points of interest” to Ukraine.

Brian Everstine

Brian Everstine is the Pentagon Editor for Aviation Week, based in Washington, D.C. Before joining Aviation Week in August 2021, he covered the Pentagon for Air Force Magazine. Brian began covering defense aviation in 2011 as a reporter for Military Times.