18 July 2019 – UKspace welcomes today’s announcements by the Defence Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, in which she provided plans for an ambitious space programme.
Speaking at the Air and Space Power Conference in London, the initiatives announced by Ms Mordaunt included: a £30m investment in the launch of the ARTEMIS small satellite demonstrator; the UK becoming the first nation to join an international coalition to strengthen deterrence against hostile actors; and Joint Forces Command transforming into a new body called Strategic Command, which will tackle evolving ‘grey zone’ threats across air, land, sea, cyber and space domains.
The UK space sector is now the world leader in small satellites, thanks to companies like SSTL and Clyde Space, and the new Team ARTEMIS small satellite demonstrator programme is testament to the strong collaboration between the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and UK industry in this area. As an industry, we look forward to further developing our strong links with US industry which has benefitted from work done on international trade under the Space Growth Partnership.
UKspace also welcomes the announcement of Strategic Command, bringing together and integrating more fully across the five warfighting domains. The recognition of space as a warfighting domain under the new Strategic Command is a critical development for our sector. Our industry stands ready to work closely with MOD and other Government departments to enable the protection from and of space through programmes like Skynet 6, UK GNSS and others.
We are further encouraged by this latest MOD announcement as it builds upon the positive speech about the UK space sector delivered by Space Minister Chris Skidmore at this week at the launch of the Policy’s Exchange Space Manifesto, as well as last month’s Government announcement to create the National Space Council.