Australia has unveiled a space-focused defence agency to counter Russia and China’s ambitions. Defence Minister Peter Dutton stated that the Defence Space Command will ensure Australia’s place in space.
Air Vice-Marshal Cath Roberts, who will lead it, said she was “scared” by Australia’s inability to counter the activities of Beijing and Moscow. The United States, Russia, and China are all thought to have tested weapons capable of destroying a satellite in space.
According to the head of the agency, a Chinese satellite could theoretically “take out” the National Broadband Network for regional Australia. Her responsibilities include improving Australians’ “national understanding” of space threats.
“we are really tight with the US” Vice-Marshal Roberts said, “we can rely on them to an extent, but we need to accelerate the capability so that we can deal with the threats”
Mr Dutton stated that the Defence Space Command would be limited at first, but that Australia would eventually require a “Space Force in the future” referring to the US Space Force, which was launched in 2019.
He chastised “countries that see space as a territory for their taking, rather than one to be shared” In this century, space will take on “greater military significance” according to Mr Dutton, who cautioned against it becoming a battleground for nations.
Members of the new agency will come from the Australian army, navy, and air force, as well as private contractors. Last year, Australia announced plans for a new agency. It will be under the control of the Air Force.
It comes three years after the United States’ Space Force was established. On social media, that agency’s uniforms drew mockery, with some questioning why they needed to be camouflaged for use in space, and its official logo, which was said to resemble one from the cult sci-fi TV series Star Trek. In 2019, the United Kingdom established a military space command centre.