President Emmanuel Macron announces creation of a new space force command

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 14, 2019

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday he had approved the creation of a space command within the French air force to improve the country's defence capabilities.

"To give substance to this doctrine and ensure the development and reinforcement of our space capabilities, a space command will be created next September in the air force", Macron said.

Macron said space has become a "true national security issue" due to increased spending and interest in the area by the United States, India, China and Russian Federation.

French President Emmanuel Macron is flanked by French Defense Minister Florence Parly and Junior Defense Minister Genevieve Darrieussecq, as he speaks at the residence of French Defense Minister on the eve of Bastille Day in Paris, France, July 13, 2019.

Last year Macron had spoken of the need for a strategy for space defence and this was the result, he said.

Observers see military activities - including spy satellites, location tracing and jamming, communications and cyber attacks - increasingly being set up in orbit around Earth.

Macron's announcement mirrors an initiative in the U.S. championed by President Donald Trump for a new "Space Force" to become the sixth branch of the military by 2020.

France notably has a 2019-2025 military spending plan that allocates €3.6 billion ($4 billion) to defense in space, including the renewal of key communication satellites, the launch of three electromagnetic-monitoring satellites and the modernization of a spatial radar surveillance system.

Parly announced research into the new generation of military satellites at the Paris Air Show last month.

He called the renewed military focus on space a "true national security issue" and said it would go to "better protecting our satellites".

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