France to create new Space army command

President Macron made the announcement last night (July 13) the day before the Fête Nationale military parade

France is to create a new Space army, to “ensure the development and strengthening” of the country’s “spatial capacity”, President Emmanuel Macron has announced.

The President made the announcement last night (July 13), at a speech at defence ministry le ministère des Armées, the night before today’s Fête Nationale military parade on July 14.

He said: “To ensure the development and strengthening of our spatial capacity, a large military command for space will be created this coming September. [It will] eventually become known as the Army of Air and Space.”

The new command will form part of the existing air force.

Mr Macron added: “We will strengthen our knowledge of the Space situation, and better protect our satellites. The new military space doctrine that was proposed, and that I have approved, will allow us to ensure our defence of Space, and in Space.”

The announcement comes after minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, said in 2018 that she was already working to ensure France had “real strategic spatial independence” faced with the “threats brought by some large powers”.

Ms Parly also made reference to a 2017 allegation of Russian spying on the Franco-Italian military satellite Athena-Fidus.

France is not the only country to have made significant announcements on Space strategy in recent years.

China, Russia, and the United States have all mentioned the subject, including US President Donald Trump, who has previously said he would like to build a “Space Force”, pending approval from Congress.

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