The UK is planning to establish a new Space Command by Summer 2021.

The 100-page Integrated Review document sets out the UK’s national security and foreign policy approach.

The following is an excerpt from the document.

“Since 2010, space has proved to be one of the UK’s fastest growing sectors, trebling
in size. It now employs 42,000 people and generates an income of £14.8 billion each
year, with particular strengths in small satellite technology, satellite and deep-space
telecommunications, robotics and Earth observation.

The UK nevertheless relies heavily on our allies for access to critical capabilities, such
as satellite launch. By 2030, the Government’s ambition is for the UK to have the ability
to monitor, protect and defend our interests in and through space, using a mixture of
sovereign capabilities and burden-sharing partnerships with our allies.”

The Integrated Review sets out what the UK will do next:

• Establish a new Space Command by summer 2021, ensuring that the armed
forces have cutting-edge capabilities to advance UK interests on Earth and in
space – enhancing our cooperation with allies and ensuring we can compete with
our adversaries.

• Develop a commercial launch capability from the UK – launching British satellites
from Scotland by 2022 as part of the UK Space Agency’s programme to enable a
UK-wide market for spaceflight services. This will give us greater strategic autonomy
and flexibility in terms of what the UK puts into space, and when.

• Develop other critical space capabilities for military and civil use, including Space
Domain Awareness, which uses integrated in-space and ground sensing to track
space debris, investigate incidents in space, and detect, anticipate and attribute
hostile activity.

• Support the UK space sector to realise the economic benefits from this new and
dynamic market, and extend the UK’s influence in the space domain. As part of
building the UK’s strategic advantage through S&T, the Government will build the
enabling environment for a thriving UK space industry developing space- and
ground-based technologies. We will promote a ‘whole-of-life’ offer from R&D
through finance to satellite operations, launch capability data applications and
end‑of-life services. Defence will carry out more space-related science activity,
R&D and operational concept demonstrators.

• Prevent the proliferation of technologies that pose a threat in space, such as ballistic
missile technologies, through robust export controls.

• Increase the UK’s international collaboration across our space-related objectives.
We intend to continue our participation in the EU’s Copernicus Earth observation
programme, and will deepen our cooperation with NATO and through the
Combined Space Operations (CSpO) initiative. We will also develop our work with
bodies including NASA and the European, Canadian, Australian and Japanese
space agencies.

You can read the review here.

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Levi Goldsteinberg

Have we been baited? As far as I can see in the review, there is precisely nothing of any consequence regarding cuts or expansions in the armed forces beyond very vague policy direction and platitudes

Harry Bulpit

I think this will come out on the 22nd.

RobW

Defence White Paper is next week.

farouk

Just read it and I agree, its nothing more than a huge pat on the back exercise, which repeats far too often,”” we’ve done, this, we’ve done that and we were the first to do this.”” I did chuckle at this: The UK border: the gateway for Global Britain Our vision is that by 2025 the UK border will be the most effective in the world. The border is more than a line on a map: it is a combination of policies, processes and systems delivered by both public and private organisations across more than 270 recognised crossing points and… Read more »

Jonathan

To be honest I did not really expect much, I did not agree with much the Cameron led executive did, but at least they generally told you when they were planning to cut you off at the knees. The Johnson executive is so bad news averse they really would dress a turd as a chocolate and tell you it was lovely even after you’d bitten into it.

ChariotRider

Just started wading through this, lots of Boris handy wavy stuff in the vision but I guess that is needed to set the direction. As for the Armed Forces details it is looking increasingly like we will have to wait until the Defence White Paper on the 22nd.

Cheers CR

Last edited 24 days ago by ChariotRider
Daniele Mandelli

Not read all yet, but there was a titbit on UK forces being permanently based on BIOT ( Diego Garcia )

At present there is but a RN party there and it is overwhelmingly US forces.

But does that hint at expansion? Could a future LSS type / RM deploy from there?

Levi Goldsteinberg

That sounds like a dream job for those RN boys, working in literal paradise

Andy P

Not a whole lot of ladies on DG.

BigH1979

What do RN boys need with ladies 😉

Andy P

You nee someone to run the laundrette and make the tea. 😉

Mark

The nuts and bolts of the review come out on the 22nd. All we got today was a lot of waffle.

Robert Blay

Today was the strategy and the vision for our foreign policy. Not overly exciting, but very important.

Mark F

Very disappointing its “all like to do and not intend to do”. The biggest worry out of all of this is the increase in our nuclear Stockpile. Reduce oxur conventional forces and virtually rely on obliterating our enemies with yellow sunshine. You can’t play your cards close to your chest when you have thrown most of them on the table.

Last edited 24 days ago by Mark F
Lebron

Uk Space ambitions and nuclear assets should be moved into a new government body to free up MOD Resources.

Mark F

Notice the title “aims to be”

John Hartley

If only we had kept going with Blue Streak & Black Arrow. It is said, Ted Heath scrapped them to appease the French, so they would let us join the Common Market.
A new, simple launch site should be built on Montserrat. All that volcanic rock can be used for a good launch base. Monitor launches from Ascension Island. Scottish launches are only for Polar Orbit. We need somewhere else for Equatorial launches & Montserrat is in the right spot.

Levi Goldsteinberg

Surely BIOT would be better? It has a very sophisticated airbase already, its (almost) equatorial and doesn’t have the geological issues Montserrat has

Steve Martin

BIOT might be troublesome with the Americans operating aircraft etc out of there as well as transporting the rockets, fuel etc. It might just be cheaper and easier to book slot on SpaceX et al. rockets for equatorial launch needs and “specialise” in polar launches ourselves.

Levi Goldsteinberg

Totally agree, the heavy launch market is well and truly saturated already and SpaceX’s value for money is not likely going to be upstaged by a domestic effort of our own.

Polar launches can be our USP I agree, I was just humouring the above commenter

John Hartley

Well you get volume of scale if you can do Polar & Equatorial, so that would cut the price. If you want a sovereign capability, you need to do both. Otherwise just buy American.

spyintheskyuk

Black Arrow was a great loss a very advanced rocket cancelled just as it proved itself, I rumoured to specifically stop it from further success and supportive sentiment, sounds familiar with many UK tech projects. Of course that wonderfully insightful PM Thatcher as with aircraft decided that it would be impossible for Europe to compete with the Americans in such things. I wonder how she would feel about New Zealand doing so now.

Levi Goldsteinberg

RocketLab really is only nominally Kiwi in fairness.

Julian

Yes. In reading about the UK’s ambitions to get back a sovereign launch capability I can’t help thinking of the old joke about asking for directions – “well, I wouldn’t start from here”. We have an awful lot of ground to make up and I really hope the end point of our ambitions isn’t being able to launch a maximum of a handful of micro-satellites to low Earth orbit. If the UK was ever to get to the stage of any reasonable sized launch capability then one problem with BIOT is size. The exclusion zones around a heavy lift launch… Read more »

Andy P

Thunderbirds are go then ???

Terence Patrick Hewett

I have great hopes for the Space Bridge with Oz: and CANZUK. Also horizontal launch with Reaction Engines in 2030+. It’s early days yet: the biggest danger to all this is the low quality of the political class, who are technologically illiterate.

Sean

We’ll have horizontal launch before then. Virgin Orbit plan to operate out of the Newquay Spaceport and the RAF are obviously interested as one of their pilots is on secondment to Virgin Orbit.

David Flandry

Late coming to this board, I hope this turns to be real, and not PR.