The space became a place of dispute the world supremacy of where can come from the “maneuvers unfriendly”, said Friday the French minister of the Armed forces, announcing the transformation of the army Air force in “Air force and Space”.
In an interview to the daily La Provence, Florence Parly formalizes a name that was in the pipes for several months, based on the need to take into account the “passage of a vision of a space “common good”, in the service of science, a space in which the powers continue to fight over the supremacy of the world.”
“We are not engaged in an arms race”, she adds, reaffirming the commitment of France to a “peaceful use of space”. But “it is also my responsibility to be certain of having perfectly identified the threats to which our country is potentially facing”.
In 2017, the “satellite spy” Russian Louch-Olympus had tried to approach the military satellite of the franco-Italian Athena-Fidus. The incident was later revealed by the minister. “The conclusion was that satellites could now approach us for the jam or the damage, or even destroy them”, she explains.
“We’re going to have small satellites patrol boats that will allow us to detect, characterize, and assign to their authors, this type of maneuvers unfriendly”, explains Florence Parly, citing also a camera that will allow the satellites to “see 360 degrees around them” and for some “laser power” to keep them at a distance or dazzle “those who try to approach too closely.”
Based in Toulouse, “the beating heart of the French space”, the general command of the space will include a staff of 200 people initially, 500 in 2025. Investment in the sector will be brought in 3.6 billion euros originally foreseen in the law on military programming (2019-2025), at $ 4.3 billion.
“We first need to know very precisely the spatial situation in the immediate environment of our satellites, which requires equipment,” explains Mrs. Parly, who claims it for France, “the right to develop means of self-defense” in space.
This official name, and submit it to the armed forces during a visit to Salon-de-Provence in the afternoon, will be accompanied by the beginning of next year of a legislative arsenal, said on Thursday his cabinet.
“The risk could be the destruction or wilful damage of one or more of our satellites, whether civilian or military, is a factor which would undermine our sovereignty and our security,” she asserts.