The U.S. has told allies that Russia could deploy a nuclear weapon or a mock warhead into space as early as this year, according to people familiar with the matter.

Russia is developing a space-based capability to knock out satellites using a nuclear weapon, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity. A nuclear warhead in orbit would violate the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, to which Russia is a signatory.

The development comes after the House Intelligence Committee chairman warned last week of a grave but unspecified security threat from Russia. U.S. President Joe Biden later said that the Kremlin has been developing an anti-satellite space weapon that doesn’t pose a direct threat to human lives.