Space defense: France joins Combined Space Operations © ESA

| Alexandre Rocchi

Space defense: France joins Combined Space Operations

France decides to join the Allied Combined Space Operations initiative. The objective of this initiative is to coordinate the efforts of the seven participating nations in the area of ​​space defense.

At the meeting of national representatives of the Combined Space Operations (CSpO) initiative, held on February 11 and 12 in Ottawa, Air commodore Michel Friedling — head of space command — signed on behalf of the French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly, the adhesion contract to the Memorandum of Understanding. “The aim of this cooperation is to coordinate, in the area of ​​space defense, the efforts of the seven participating nations”, indicates the Ministry of the Armed Forces which recalls that “the participation of France in this initiative is part of the State’s space strategy, decided by the President of the Republic and presented by the Minister of the Armed Forces on July 25, 2019”. The CSpO “seeks to improve space capabilities, whether national or collective, and to facilitate combined space operations between participants”, specifies the French Ministry of the Armed Forces which explains that “the challenge is to be able to coordinate allied capacities, to increase their resilience to ensure support for multi-domain operations, to guarantee free access to space and protect the means there, hereby with a coalition.”

As a multilateral forum for coordination, reflection and discussion, the CSpO offers the opportunity to achieve these various objectives. This initiative initially brought together the United States — who further confirmed its interest for space a few days ago with an increase in the budget proposal regarding this sector — the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. France and Germany joined it as observers in 2016, then as associate members in 2017. From now on, by decision of Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, France will fully participate in the CSpO, thus raising to seven the number of participating nations.

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