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Australia stands up Defence Space Command, publishes Space Strategy

The Australian Department of defence has officially stood up its Defence Space Command. It is designed to protect Australia’s national interests and lead eventually to the creation of a national Space Force in the future, Minister for Defence Peter Dutton announced on 22 March. Dutton also released Australia’s Defence Space Strategy which is summarised below.

Speaking at the RAAF’s Air and Space Power Conference Dutton said, “Defence Space Command is Australia’s contribution towards a larger, collective effort among like-minded countries to ensure a safe, stable and secure space domain.

“By developing our sovereign space capabilities, we will not only become more self-reliant, but also be a better ally and partner through the combined effects of our capabilities,” he added.

Defence Space Command is headed by Air Vice Marshal Cath Roberts, the former Head of Air Force Capability but will have a tri-service complexion, employing specialists from all three services, Defence public servants and industry. It will work in close collaboration with the Australian Space Agency, industry partners and Australian civilian and Defence R&D centres.

Minister Dutton said Australia’s aim will be to invest in new space capabilities to counter identified threats, to assure continued Australian access to space-based Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and to support the mutual objectives of Australia and its allies in the space domain.

The Defence Space Strategy released on 22 March is intended to set the trajectory for Defence’s space efforts to 2040, building on the 2020 Defence Strategic Update, Force Structure Plan and Defence Transformation Strategy. It describes the strategic context in the space environment, articulates the vision and mission for the space domain and the need for assured Australian civil and military access to space.

The Strategy identifies five lines of effort, many of which have a time horizon within the next five years:

  • Enhance Defence’s space capability to assure Joint Force access in a congested and contested space environment
  • Deliver military effects integrated across Whole of Government and with allies and partners in support of Australia’s national security
  • Increase the national understanding of the criticality of space
  • Advance Australia’s sovereign space capability to support the development of a sustainable national space enterprise
  • Evolve the Defence Space Enterprise to ensure a coherent, efficient and effective use of the space domain.

To download the Defence Space Strategy go to:

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