Space force

Defense Minister Peter Dutton announces American-style space force for Australia

Defense Minister Peter Dutton announces US-style space force for Australia to counter threats from China and Russia

  • Australia to launch US-style Space Force to protect satellites
  • Peter Dutton announced the move at the Royal Australian Air Force conference
  • Fears are growing over authoritarian powers like Russia and China in space

Australia will follow America’s lead in creating a “Space Force” to protect critical satellites from the threat of authoritarian powers like Russia and China.

Defense Minister Peter Dutton announced details of the new military arm known as Defense Space Command on Tuesday in a speech to the Royal Australian Air Force’s Air and Space Power Conference.

“We know that some countries are developing capabilities to threaten or degrade space networks, target satellites and destroy space systems,” he said.

“Countries that see space as a territory to be taken, rather than a territory to be shared.

“For any nation, losing access to space would have significant civil and military consequences. This is an area that should be used to deter aggression, rather than becoming a new area of ​​conflict.

In a speech to the Royal Australian Air Force Air and Space Power Conference on Tuesday, Peter Dutton (pictured with Prime Minister Scott Morrison) announced details of the new military branch known as Defense Space Command.

Australia is about to follow America's lead by creating a

Australia is set to follow America’s lead by creating a “Space Force” to protect critical satellites from the threat of authoritarian powers like Russia and China. Pictured: US Space Force logo

One of the triggers for this decision was Russia’s anti-satellite missile test in November last year.

The chilling weapon destroyed a redundant Soviet-era intelligence satellite, leaving around 1,500 pieces of debris cannonading around the planet “that could take decades to clean up”, Mr Dutton said.

NASA and the Biden administration called the botched missile test on the Kosmos 1408 “unconscionable” and said the weapon posed a threat to space exploration and scientific discovery.

Mr Dutton said creating a military presence in the “new area of ​​conflict” is a “necessary effort”, as the final frontier was increasingly crowded with more than 7,500 satellites orbiting the globe.

“The space is becoming increasingly crowded and already contested, especially as the lines between competition and conflict become increasingly blurred due to gray area activities,” he said.

Donald Trump announced in 2018 that he was ordering the Pentagon to launch a

Donald Trump announced in 2018 that he was ordering the Pentagon to launch a “Space Force”

When former President Donald Trump announced the launch of the US Space Force in 2018, the move was met with skepticism and ridicule at first – even spawning a parody comedy series on Netflix starring Steve Carell.

Claims that the new military branch’s logo was directly copied from Star Trek also added to the derision.

But several years later, the need to counter the growing aggressiveness of authoritarian powers in space is seen quite differently.

Last year, the British government also confirmed the launch of UK Space Command to protect key satellites.

When former President Donald Trump announced the launch of the US Space Force in 2018, the move was initially met with skepticism and even ridicule – even spawning a parody comedy series on Netflix starring Steve Carell.  Pictured: Earth seen from the moon

When former President Donald Trump announced the launch of the US Space Force in 2018, the move was initially met with skepticism and even ridicule – even spawning a parody comedy series on Netflix starring Steve Carell. Pictured: Earth seen from the moon

Pictured: The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the US Space Force's fifth third-generation navigation satellite for the Global Positioning System launched from a pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station

Pictured: The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the US Space Force’s fifth third-generation navigation satellite for the Global Positioning System launched from a pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station

Mr Dutton said Australia’s military branch in the stars would initially be “small” compared to other nations, but more investment and technical support from allies was coming.

“Australia’s Department of Defense and the United States National Reconnaissance Office are engaged in a wide range of cooperative satellite activities that will expand Australia’s space knowledge and capabilities,” he said.

“Australia will also invest in new military space capabilities to counter threats, to ensure our continued access to space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and to maintain the free use of space.”