France's Macron announces creation of French space force

14 Juillet, 2019, 13:44 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • France is joining an international space race that has already seen the US China and Russia throwing extra resources into military activities in space

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech at the residence of French Defense Ministry on the eve of Bastille Day, on July 13, 2019, in Paris.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday he had approved the creation of a space command within the French air force to improve the country's defence capabilities.

The declaration - made on the eve of France's Bastille Day national celebrations that feature a military parade down Paris's Champs-Elysees - mirrors an initiative in the United States championed by President Donald Trump.

Addressing military personnel a day before the Bastille Day parade, Macron said the new military doctrine setting up a space command would strengthen protection of French satellites.

Macron claimed that the military focus on space was a "true national security issue" and said it would go to "better protecting our satellites".

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French Defense Minister Florence Parly said past year she was committed to giving France strategic space autonomy in the face of growing threats from other powers amid a race in space militarisation.

France has allocated €3.6 billion (Rs 27,859 crore) for defence in space between 2019 and 2025.

That includes the renewal of France's CSO observation and Syracuse communication satellites, the launch of three CERES electromagnetic-monitoring satellites, and the modernisation of a spatial radar surveillance system called GRAVES.

French Defence Minister Florence Parly said past year that she was committed to giving the country "strategic space autonomy" as the race for militarisation of space intensifies.

The Pentagon has drafted plans for a new Space Force on orders from Trump who has declared space a "war-fighting domain".

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