This 2022 strategy sets out the UK’s vision for Defence as a global actor in the space domain and describes how MOD will deliver through space-related capabilities, operations and partnerships.
The UK is heavily dependent upon space for critical services that impact daily on civil, commercial and military sectors. Space is a key enabler for Defence operations and is now an operational domain in its own right (alongside maritime, land, air and cyberspace). Space enables MOD’s ability to command and control globally, provide surveillance, intelligence and missile warning, as well as support deployed Joint Forces.
Space capabilities and activities are continually subject to threats and hazards. Most are environmental: the natural hazards of space weather, radiation and meteoroid showers. Some are man-made hazards, such as space debris, collisions, and human error. Others are adversarial, as hostile actors and competitors seek to maximise their relative advantage in the domain. An important element of the space strategy is to both protect and defend the UK’s space assets and the services derived from them.
The UK will invest an extra £1.4bn in Defence space technologies over the next 10 years. This is in addition to the £5bn the UK is already investing in Skynet satellite communications over a similar timeframe. This represents a significant increase in government funding for the UK space sector.
The MOD will focus its attention to deliver space capabilities to protect and defend UK interests in support of global military operations. Their priorities are to:
- Enhance understanding of the threats and hazards in, from, or through space.
- Deliver high-quality information and intelligence in real time from space to the military.
- Deliver the first in a series of constellations of novel sensors to track targets on Earth.
- Understand, design and field technologies to protect and defend UK interests in or from space.
Source: UK government