The space has changed in nature, according to the minister for the Armed forces, Florence Parly. In an interview with the newspaper La Provence published on Friday, 24 July, she announced that the Air force is going to become an " army of the Air and Space ", in order 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." The minister says, however, not to be engaged in an arms race, "and that France remains committed to a" peaceful use of space ". But " it is also [s]a 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."
200 personnel dedicated
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 Florence Parly, who claims it for France, "the right to develop means of self-defense" in space.
The official name, and submit it to the armed forces during a visit to Salon-de-Provence Friday, 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.
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