President Emmanuel Macron announces creation of a new space force command

Evarado Alatorre
Julio 14, 2019

French President Emmanuel Macron is flanked by French Defense Minister Florence Parly and Junior Defense Minister Genevieve Darrieussecq, as he speaks at the residence of French Defense Minister on the eve of Bastille Day in Paris, France, July 13, 2019.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday announced the creation of a new space force command that will eventually become part of France's air force, AFP reported.

He called the renewed military focus on space a "true national security issue".

"And to give substance to this doctrine, to ensure the development and reinforcement of our space capabilities, a large space command will be created next September within the Air Force, which will eventually become the Air and Space Force".

French Defence Minister Florence Parly said previous 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. However, he added that the funds required for the space military force are yet to be decided.

"We will reinforce our knowledge of the situation in space, we will better protect our satellites, including in an active manner", he said.

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Observers see military activities - including spy satellites, location tracing and jamming, communications and cyber attacks - increasingly being set up in orbit around Earth.

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

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration announced a plan past year to create a new "Space Force" as the sixth branch of the military by 2020.

Parly announced research into the new generation of military satellites at the Paris Air Show last month.

The European Space Agency launch site at Kourou in French Guiana gives France a leading role in space - one that President Macron is determined to preserve, correspondents say.

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