skip to main content

UK MoD publishes Defence Space Strategy

A CGI representation of Titania, a laser communications device (Crown Copyright 2022)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) published its long-awaited Defence Space Strategy (DSS) on 1 February. The strategy, due to be released in late 2021, details several key programmes that will help to protect and defend the UK's national interests.

The document reveals that GBP1.4 billion (USD1.8 billion) will be allocated to help defend the United Kingdom's space interests over the next 10 years, on top of the GBP5 billion committed to Skynet. As part of the GBP1.4 billion investment, GBP970 million will be “committed to deliver a multi-satellite system to support greater global surveillance and intelligence for military operations – known as the ISTARI Programme”. The systems will be fitted with a variety of sensors including synthetic aperture radars.

Titania – a GBP61 million programme – will fund the development of optical laser communication technology, enabling the transfer of data to and from space at speeds equivalent to superfast broadband.

The DSS also revealed the government's intention to invest an additional GBP60 million in Skynet and other satellite communications.

GBP85 million will be spent over the next 10 years on enhancing the UK's space domain awareness capabilities, the document confirmed. During the launch of the DSS 2022, Jeremy Quinn, the Minister for Defence Procurement, noted that this would enhance “[the] ability to properly understand activity in space, stretching as far as geo-stationary orbit and beyond, more than 36,000 km away from the Earth”.

A further MoD announcement outlined a number of other critical areas including intelligence, surveillance, situational awareness, and command and control (C2) – funded through existing investment – that will be launched as part of the DSS.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...