With this strategy, the Ministry of Defense will protect and promote UK interests in space; and we will play a leading role in the coalition of like-minded nations and organizations that have come together to ensure space is there for the benefit of all.

Space is fundamental to our national security and our way of life. Any loss or disruption of our access to space would have a disastrous effect on people’s daily lives. What happens hundreds of miles away or more is not something that worries our average citizen. We don’t hear much about a disruption of space services on a personal level and how it might affect us all – no banking, little food on the shelves, no gas in the pumps, traffic jams and malfunction of the national electricity grid.

We are all dependent on space, whether in our personal lives or, in my case, air and space operations command, so we must ensure the safety and security of the space domain.

In terms of defence, space gives us and our closest allies a unique operational advantage. Every military operation, from a land battle to a carrier battle group, depends on space. RAF space operations are not conceptual or experimental forays into a science fiction future; they are an essential component of today’s multi-domain integrated force. And space is a natural continuum of the air domain, where the importance of gaining and maintaining air control can also apply to the space domain.

And we have work to do. Today, space is a far from benign environment, with almost daily cyberattacks and questionable sub-threshold activity. In recent years, Russia and China have tested anti-satellite weapons creating debris fields that will linger for decades, threatening satellites and space systems the world depends on.

Russian satellites are continually closing in on other satellites, what we call rendezvous and proximity operations, perhaps an indication of spy activity, or perhaps repeating something much more sinister. Meanwhile, China is seeking to become the world’s leading space power by 2045, an aspiration supported by its developments in cyber, electromagnetic and kinetic systems that could potentially threaten other users in space. We must therefore continue to develop our understanding of what malicious actors are doing in space, and ways to protect our critical interests and our freedom to operate in space.

We will do this through UK Space Command, a joint command drawing our brightest and best, which was established at RAF High Wycombe on April 1 last year, bringing together a pool of experts from across the UK Armed Forces , our allies, the public service and industry, to integrate, coordinate and deliver decisive space power in a truly national endeavor.

At its heart, the UK Space Operations Center is the operational level command and control organization of the UK Armed Forces which provides space effects in all domains and monitors what our potential adversaries are doing 24/7.

This was demonstrated all too clearly at the end of last year with the Russian anti-satellite test, which you have just heard the minister talk about, I am proud to say that our UK space operations center immediately proved his worth: he played a leading role in categorizing debris and issuing warnings of a potential threat to the lives of people working on the International Space Station – including Russian nationals.

Last year we published the UK National Space Strategy, and today I am delighted to be here for the launch of our Defense Space Strategy. In the context of what I have just described, it defines the essential role of the Ministry of Defense in the Protect and Defend element of the National Strategy by using our space systems and platforms, our operational expertise and our partnerships, while expanding our cadre of space operators. ready to meet the challenges of the future.

We have three strategic objectives:

The first is – Protecting and defending our interests in and through space. This includes the ability to identify and attribute threats to our space systems and then respond in a proportionate and coordinated manner.

Second – integrating space operations into multi-domain defense and security operations, including the provision of resilient and assured space services such as satellite communications or intelligence gathering that are crucial to our operations today and in the future. the future.

And third – to develop, hone and develop our pool of space experts from the Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Civil Service, equipping future generations with the skills to meet the threats of the to come up. Our ultimate success in space also rests with our next generations of British space operators, whose interest, intellect, experience and professionalism we must now develop.

We will own our capabilities and direct their development where there is a pressing sovereign advantage to do so; we will collaborate as much as possible on projects with our main ally, the United States; supporting the UK Space Agency’s UK space launch programmes; and we will ensure access to the shared resources of our like-minded allies and coalition partners.

As you have already heard from the Minister, we are making significant investments in our military capabilities through our Defense Space Portfolio, capitalizing on the UK’s leading space science and technology sector.

Our SKYNET program provides a constellation of assured and secure satellite communications, representing a strategic investment of £5 billion and essential national capability in the 2040s and beyond.

Our additional investment of £1.4 billion over the next decade through the programs you’ve just heard about like MINERVA, ISTARI, AURORA and PROMETHEUS 2:

Improve our understanding of threats and dangers in the space domain. Give our armed forces assured access to the highest quality, real-time information and intelligence as they increasingly operate around the world.

Provide new combinations of sensors capable of identifying and tracking targets and directly supporting the combatant in all areas.

Better understand emerging technologies that can be used to protect and defend our interests. This consistent and growing investment program will support our vision and mission of defense in space in close collaboration with our allies and strategic partners. This is the foundation for an exciting future for UK defense in this exciting operational area.

Space is essential to the daily life of every citizen in the UK. That is why this government has published the UK’s first National Space Strategy. The ambition is clear; the space sector is important to the nation and, as a nation, we must be at the forefront of this explosion of technological and commercial opportunities in space. From a military perspective, its contribution to current and future multi-domain military operations is increasingly important and non-discretionary. This is why the publication of our Defense Space Strategy is so important, to better protect and promote the UK’s interests in space and to make a leading contribution to the coalition of like-minded nations and organizations who have come together to ensure that space is there for the good of all.