Boris Johnson announced “a new RAF space command launching British satellites and our first rocket from Scotland in 2022”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“The security and intelligence agencies will continue to protect us around the clock from terrorism and new and evolving threats. We will invest another £1.5 billion in military research and development, designed to master the new technologies of warfare. We will establish a new centre dedicated to artificial intelligence, and a new RAF space command, launching British satellites and our first rocket from Scotland in 2022.

I can announce that we have established a National Cyber Force, combining our intelligence agencies and service personnel, which is already operating in cyberspace against terrorism, organised crime and hostile state activity. And the RAF will receive a new fighter system, harnessing artificial intelligence and drone technology to defeat any adversary in air-to-air combat.”

A UK Government spokesman said:

“Spaceports offer an exciting route to enhance the future prosperity of the UK and we welcome the progress being made by the UK Space Agency. Spaceports will provide opportunity for a range of customers, especially in the context of improving global communications and data sharing.”

Shetland Spaceport boosts UK space launch capabilities

The UK currently has a spaceport in build in Scotland however the spaceport developers in the Highlands and Islands were caught unawares by Boris Johnson’s proposal to create a new RAF Space Command, it is understood. You can read more about that here.

The PM also said that the overall investment of £16.5 billion will also fund the development of Artificial Intelligence and a National Cyber Force aimed at targeting terrorism, organised crime and hostile state activity in addition to fully funding the procurement of 8 Type 26 Frigates, 5 Type 31 frigates, the “next generation” Type 32 frigates, the new Fleet Solid Support Ships and a new multi-role research vessel.

 

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Levi Goldsteinberg

I’m drunk on good news after decades of decline. Waiting for the catch

Mark B

I mean this in the nicest possible way Levi but people have forgotten how to treat good news. “Grab it and run with it – make every penny count”..The treasury will be predicting that the military will squander the money to no effect. The military must spend well and spend wisely to get yet more money. Their future is in their own hands. That is the catch.

Gareth

Quite right Mark

dan

The liberal press in America and the rest of the world made fun of President Trump when he proposed creating a Space Force in America. Liberal Hollywood even made a comedic tv series making fun of it. However now people are hailing Trump’s decision and other countries like Britain and France are following Trump’s lead.
Still can’t believe America dumped Trump for creepy, old Dementia Joe. Goes to show you the power of the liberal media on TV and the internet and just how gullible the American public has become. Ugh.

Richard

The Old Pussy Grabber has still not conceeded, so he will be dragged out of the Whitehouse in January. He is such a dignified politician. A shinning wit.

I’m sure HM Queen will be looking forward to Biden’s visiting. At least he won’t barge in front of her when inspecting the guard.

Robert Blay

Or how awful trump has been over this last 4 years. America can do so much better.

Spyinthesky

I assume this is a wind up and a not very convincing one at that no doubt hoping it will rattle our chains for your own childish amusement. Well unless you are indeed as mad as Mr smoke and mirrors across the pond anyway. But just in case anyone is in doubt from the similar name, our ‘Space Force’ doesn’t have galactic pretensions, will be structured with its feet firmly rooted on earthly matters, for it’s fundamentally a unified satellite and launch organisation and I very much doubt it will adopt fantasy Star Trek badge designs and Captain Scarlet sci-fi… Read more »

Dern

We are following the American lead, by creating a Space Command within the RAF we are effectively following up on what the American did in the 1980’s with the US Airforce Space Command. We aren’t creating a Space Force as an indipendent service branch just yet as it will be squarely under the RAF.

Watcherzero

The Space Force already existed within the US Airforce, all he did was rebadge it into its own agency and take away the soft space capabilities the army and navy had developed. Its not different to how the US Army Airforce existed before it became its own branch the US Airforce.

James Fennell

Trump is dangerous and a threat to Western values and thus our security. For me its not about Biden, he could run against a trained goldfish and I’d still want him gone. If we can’t sustain our values and rule of law then the bad guys have won. That is exactly what we fight for.

David Flandry

Please describe his threat to Western values. He decided not to attack Syria a while back after asking about the casualties( too high). I am unaware of any western values that have actually suffered.

James Fennell

He was also wrong not to help displace Syria. We let Putin into the Middle East.and diminished the Western Alliance’s power and prestige. He has generally spent more time berating his Allies and made common cause with those who wish to undermine Western democracy. Before 1989 I would have called that treason.

James Fennell

He subscribed to a process with rules – whether we like it or not – and was happy to live by those rules when they worked in his favour. As soon as they did not he threw the rule book out the window and attempted to subvert the process. That is dishonourable at minmum and authoritarian at worse. I do not want to live in a society where the example set by the leadership is do as you please so long as you win, and screw everyone else and the imperfect and yet carefully constructed compromises and checks and balances… Read more »

Meirion X

I Totally agree with you here Jemes!

Meirion X

My apologies for misspellt your name James!

Meirion X

Bring back the edit function Please!

Harry Bulpit

This is all good news. But I do sincerely hope it doesn’t come at the expense of conventional assets.

Bob2

Ben Wallace told radio 4s Today show that he was happy to get rid of some military capabilities.

The bbc interviewer did ask him which ones, but he didn’t really answer the question. His answer was interesting though as he started to describe how armoured units with no supporting assets were very vulnerable to UAVs.

It is worth a listen to on bbc sounds. The interview starts about 2:42 hours into the show.

Harry Bulpit

This UAV craze is ridiculous. A UAV is no different to a regular aircraft except it is missing a pilot. A predator is about as stealthy and as manovable as a Cessna. If it’s to small to be detected by current airdefnce systems then it’s to small to carry any significantly ordinance or shielding to protect from the radiation admitted by radar.

Bob2

Hi Harry, The supporting assets the def sec was referring to were air defence assets. He was basically saying our armoured units do not have any and so were vulnerable to drones. Be they large ones that are armed or smaller ones that can be used to direct attacks from other opposing units. I could not work out if he was suggesting he wanted to introduce more organic air defence units into our armoured battle groups or if he was suggesting they should be scrapped as he would not be introducing additional air defence. My interest in the bbc interview… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Bob. The irony is that if we are short of AD assets that is due to cuts. We once had 7 regiments worth! 12 RA operates Starstreak HVM in direct support of armoured forces, so we DO have air defence support. Just no where near enough of it and not optimised for UAV as you and Wallace mentioned. The other Startstreak regiment was cut by HMG! And re equipped with model aeroplanes…… So Wallace’s excuses cut no ice I’m afraid, unless it’s for the public who don’t know details as to why. If he is hinting at expanding the air… Read more »

Rob

Since US Space Force uniform is based upon Star Trek can a move that UK Space Command wear Blake 7 outfits. Also get Group Captain Mandrake out of Dr Strangelove to command it.

john melling

Isnt the official US uniform just a camouflage uniform?
The fancy greyish slim sparkly one was not picked

Jonny

No we should have Imperial officer uniforms from Star Wars

Andy P

Ooh, I like that, probably better than the Doctor Evil henchman uniform I had in mind.

Pete

Go long overcoat and even longer multicoloured scarf… Altogether now… ‘who are you… Who who.. who who’

Dern

The UK has had a space command for decades:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unvmHPt2dt8

phil

And Bat Guano to protect the base.

TopBoy

No mention of F35? Good to see we gonna get a loyal wingman type weapon system

Spyinthesky

I think despite all the hype there are serious reservations about the F-35 that will take some time to ‘politically’ resolve. I think not committing to Tempest for the foreseeable will have far wider implications post Brexit than the Govt could tolerate in the present time span and the only logical and realistic way to enable it to continue is to hold back on F35 commitments. I reckon they will see how the Tempest programme plays out and based on cost, timescale, it’s bargaining power, cooperation and potential repercussions et al balanced against F35 realities at that time, or perhaps… Read more »

Glass Half Full

George, time to pull Space out from being a sub-category under Air? You can safely lose the Video category … and Space is the fifth domain after all.

BASRA

Christmas has come early, I think it’s obvious that Boris Johnson has been reading all the fantasy fleet defence blogs over the years and decided to follow through 😀

Dern

I do hope RAFSC goes forward and eventually sees investment in equatorial orbital sites on some of our Overseas Territories. (Long term goals).

Jason Holmes

And if Scotland goes independent ? another asset ‘lost’

Darren hall

Yea, a UK space launch facility and new navel vessels coming off of the production lines in Scotland… Err, hold on, is that the same Scotland that Bozo is said to hate? is that the same Scotland that does not want Britain’s Nuclear deterrent in its waters? Is that the same Scotland that is looking to vote for independence from the rest of the UK? Hmmm, is this just a mean trick by the politicians to keep Scotland within the Union? A way to buy of the voters with … dare I say it… jobs? What if we do set… Read more »

Alan Reid

Hi Darren Who is the “Scotland” you’re referring to below? “Err, hold on, is that the same Scotland that Bozo is said to hate? is that the same Scotland that does not want Britain’s Nuclear deterrent in its waters? Is that the same Scotland that is looking to vote for independence from the rest of the UK?” Last time it was tested in an Election (less than a year ago), 54% of Scots who voted supported pro-unionist parties, and only 46% the SNP/Greens. The vote in Scotland has barely moved since the 2014 Referendum (despite the Brexit earthquake). But if… Read more »

pkcasimir

Space has become another war fighting domain, just like ground, sky and sea. All of the sarcastic and ignorant comments about the US’s Space Force and uniforms and badges in this comments sections only reflect just how far behind the UK is in this area. China, Russia, Japan, and the US have recognized the importance of Space, but stuck in the 20th century Great Britain hasn’t.

Daniele Mandelli

Obviously!

Which must be why the UK is starting to place greater influence on it with this.

A start, at least.

I see no sarcastic comments, only joking ones. Comments on Star Trek show nothing of the sort. You cannot expect the average UK centric defence blog poster to know the ORBAT and details of US Space Command.

Yes the UK is far behind, miles behind.

Feel better now? Want some fresh tissues?

pkcasimir

Don’t cry for me, Britannia. You just can’t admit that the British inferiority complex vis a vis the United States is what is behind all of these comments. If the average UK defense blogger is ignorant of the details of the US Space Command then he/she shouldn’t adopt that sneering sardonic attitude that disguises that ignorance under a veil of false superiority.

Airborne

And your superiority complex is sad but amusing to see. Your repeated eforts at bad mouthing the UK leads me to my previous presumption that either your missus got caught banging a Brit squaddie, or you yourself was talking when you should have been listening…..and was taught that listening is best every time, by yet another Brit squaddie. Am I warm…..

dave12

pkcasmir you seem to be a very sensitive person lol.

Herodotus

I’ve always found that Americans seem to have an inbuilt inferiority complex when it comes to the British….that said, most nations do. Our next ambassador to the US should be black with a crystal clear English accent….frightening!

pkcasimir

Then you are living in cloud cuckoo land. Americans chucked you out, said good riddance, and then made the single biggest foreign policy mistake in its history by bailing out the British Empire in WW2.
Your next ambassador should be the Mayor of London or, even better, one of your “Asian” grooming gang members who you allowed to run scot free for decades.

Herodotus

That’s what I love about some Americans…everything so black and white…literally (snigger)! I think that you will find that the former British colonies and the general relationship with the UK is far more nuanced than you think. Talking about criminals, perhaps your new president will allow a certain lady to face trial in the UK for the unlawful killing of a British subject. A trial that she would almost certainly have faced had she done the same thing in the US. Bring on Biden….don’t you just love his socialism?

Airborne

Yes mate, but only American tissues, so much better, stonger and able to hold more volume of snot and tears…..

Dern

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGHiAhJAwr4
How dare you suggest we don’t take Her Majesties SPIFFING seriously!

Charles

I wonder if this new Space Command will also take over management of the Skynet and Carbonite satellites (Somebody at MoD is clearly a science-fiction fan)