Space-based equipment is essential to national security. Satellite communications are vital to the full spectrum of military missions, from controlling nuclear retaliatory forces, through expeditionary warfare and peacekeeping missions to humanitarian and civilian aid work. Satellite observation is crucial to reconnaissance, surveillance and monitoring, with data underpinning military, diplomatic and homeland security actions.
The global nature of terrorism and serious international crime requires security agencies to coordinate their activities and share information to an extent unthinkable a decade ago. This need for greater interoperability has placed a huge burden on the existing communication and data transfer infrastructure. A physical presence of UK personnel may often be necessary in remote locations where only secure satellite communications systems can be used to communicate back to home base.