Britain launches defense space strategy to address “increasing threats”

The UK has launched its first “Defense Space Strategy”. It outlines how the Ministry of Defense (MoD) protects Britain’s national interests in space in an era of “increasing threats.”

As part of the strategy (pdfPublished on February 1, the UK will invest £ 1.4 billion ($ 1.9 billion) to increase the number of UK satellites in space.

Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defense of the United Kingdom, said:

“This significant investment will help ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of space innovation and stays one step ahead of its competitors.”

According to MoD, over the next decade, £ 988 million ($ 1.3 billion) will be spent to provide a multi-satellite system (known as the ISTARI program) that supports better global surveillance and intelligence for military operations. It will be thrown in.

In addition, £ 61 million ($ 82 million) will explore cutting-edge laser communication technology for delivering data from space to Earth at speeds comparable to ultrafast broadband.

MoD protects and protects services derived from British stocks and space assets in space, as space capabilities and activities are “constantly threatened and endangered” in “a fierce and increasingly competitive territory.” “Defending” was important.

Epoch Times Photo
The long March 7Y4 rocket carrying the Tianzhou 3 cargo ship will be launched from the Wenchang Space Launch Station in Hainan Province, southern China, on a mission to deliver supplies to the Tiangong Space Station in China on September 20, 2021. .. (STR / AFP via Getty Images)

In addition to natural disasters such as meteoroids and man-made disasters such as space debris, MoD also emphasizes threats from “hostile actors and competitors” seeking to maximize their relative advantage within the domain. Did.

In recent years, friction between the United States, China and Russia has increased the international line for satellites, space weapons and orbital collisions.

In the preface of the strategy, Wallace said the universe brought “unprecedented benefits and new threats.”

“Daily life depends on space, which is important to the military and supports the technology to win the battle,” he said. “Attackers understand this dependency and are more likely to exploit the vulnerability, threatening strategic stability and security.”

According to MoD, the space strategy will stimulate growth across the sector, support highly skilled jobs across the UK, while enabling the UK to work more closely with NATO allies, including the United States.

The newly announced funding will provide strategic communications services to the UK Army and its allies, in addition to the existing £ 5 billion ($ 6.8 billion) already used to upgrade the UK’s Skynet satellite communications capabilities. To do.

The UK Space Command will lead the approach to space defense.

At the official opening ceremony of the Space Command in July 2021, Royal Air Force Chief Marshal Mike Wigston said that China and Russia’s activities in space were “reckless.”

He said Britain sees the development of anti-satellite weapons in both countries as a “real concern” and hopes to call on the international community to take such action.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan