JEMAD warns against the trend towards militarization of space | Atalayar

The Chief of the Defense Staff (JEMAD), General Admiral Teodoro López Calderón, warned in Santander that “the possibility of deploying weapons systems and the need to protect assets in orbit lead to an increasing militarization of space”.

From the point of view of the highest Spanish military authority, the trend, which is still not realized, to deploy weapons in space, as well as easier and cheaper access to space technologies, “increasingly calls for competition for space hegemony”. These two aspects, according to JEMAD, “will most likely create friction and even conflict over the right to use and occupy space orbits”.

PHOTO/Boeing – It is clear that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in Eastern Europe and the tensions in North Africa and the Sahel make it necessary to protect assets in orbit in the face of the increasing militarization of space.

Admiral Lopez Calderón emphasized that it is necessary to “protect access to space for our space assets” and that the Spanish Armed Forces, as a “major actor” in security and defense in space“must equip themselves with capabilities that enable them to conduct operations in space”.

JEMAD expressed its concerns to just over a hundred senior armed forces chiefs, officials from the ministries of interior, industry, transport, science and innovation and industry leaders. related to defense and security issues. This statement was made during the opening ceremony of the 14th edition of the seminar “Satellites as a key element for defense and government applications”, which was held behind closed doors in Santander from 7 to 9 September.

Space systems are essential for operations

The conclave took place at the European University of the Atlantic and the decision to hold the seminar without lights or stenographers was made by its organizers, the Spanish aerospace and defense companies Acorde, Airbus, GMV, Hisdesat, Indra, Isdefe, Sener, Telefónica, Thales Alenia Space España, on the grounds that “without the presence of the media, the speakers can express themselves more freely”.

John Pons
PHOTO/EAE – The Spanish Air and Space Force has a Space Surveillance Operations Center (COVE) at Torrejón Air Base, in whose technological development the national industry has participated

But even if it’s not much, something important came out. In addition to what has already been mentioned, Admiral López Calderón also pointed out the “enormous importance” of space capabilities to the Spanish Army and Navy. “They support us with a range of products and services which are increasingly important in our operations,” he added.

The seminar was concluded by the Minister of Defense (SEDEF), Amparo Valcarce, who offered a welcome “the dual allocation of the future Spanish Space Agency to the Ministries of Defense and Science and Innovation”a two-tier structure included in the third additional provision of the recently approved new science law, published on September 5 in the Official State Gazette (BOE).

John Pons
PHOTO/Science of works of art – Major powers and even several regional powers are embarking on R&D projects to develop anti-satellite weapons systems and also to place weapons in space

For SEDEF, this is a double dependency “will enable the state to approach space as a promoter, regulator and coordinator of the efforts and needs of the public and private sectors”. In his speech, he also referred to the fact that space is becoming an “important catalyst” for the transformation of international relations in the field of security, “a trend that is reflected both in the EU and in “NATO”.

Half a hundred civilian and military participants

He also pointed that out public-private cooperation “is one of the aspects of the government’s industrial policy” and highlighted the unique contractual relationship his ministry has with the Hisdesat company in the context of secure satellite communications and Earth observation programs. According to him, they are “strengthening” the technological and industrial defense base to provide the armed forces with the capabilities they need, “by promoting dual technological activities and the creation of skilled jobs”.

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PHOTO/ULA – It is necessary to protect access to space for Spanish space assets. The armed forces must therefore equip themselves with the necessary capacities to carry out operations in space.

The Norwegian Defense Forces claims that over the next 20 years, “the ministry and Hisdesat will invest 4 billion euros in earth observation programs and secure communication via satellite”. If these forecasts come true, it will represent an annual average of 200 million euros, which, according to Margarita Robles’ ministry, will translate into the creation of “1,500 highly qualified jobs”.

About fifty civilian and military participants presented the plans, the needs and experiences of their organizations in relation to the operational space capacity of the Spanish Armed Forces and even the contribution of the general state administration to space security. The seminar also discussed space support for military operations, observation programs and satellite communications. The importance of R&D&I in space and the challenges that the defense space programs pose to the national industry were also discussed.

Speakers at the various roundtables included the Chief of Defense Staff Operations Command, Air Lieutenant Francisco Braco; the Commissioner of Aerospace LOSS, Miguel Belló; the Director of the Intelligence Center of the Armed Forces (CIFAS), General Antonio Romero; the 2nd Commander of the Joint Cyberspace Command, Rear Admiral Francisco Javier Roca; and 2nd Chief of the Air and Space Staff, Lieutenant General Ignacio Bengoechea.

John Pons
PHOTO/USAF – Observation and communication satellites are of critical importance to the Army, Navy and EMU as they provide increasingly important services to the conduct of operations

CDTI’s director of space, major installations and dual programs, Juan Carlos Cortés, as well as the head of its space division, Jorge Lomba; the head of the Air Combat Command, Lieutenant General Francisco González-Espressati; the head of the Aerospace Surveillance and Control System, Air General Fernando Carrillo; the head of the civil guard’s telecommunications service, lieutenant colonel Manuel Izquierdo…

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