RAF Reportedly Braced for ‘Space War’ Over Claims Russia Tested ‘Anti-Satellite Weapons’

The head of the UK Space Directorate, Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth, expressed concern in December 2020 over Russia having allegedly conducted a new space test of anti-satellite weapons, without providing any evidence, claiming the “consequences of miscalculations and accidents have the potential to be catastrophic”.

Britain’s Royal Air Force is facing an immediate need to “catch up with its adversaries”, and prepare itself for a potential “space war”, RAF senior officer Sir Mike Wigstone is cited as saying by the Daily Mail.

Falling behind in new defence technologies could result in the UK’s “complete reliance” on space being exploited by “hostile states”, warns Wigstone, underscoring that military communications are satellite dependent, with troops, military vehicles, and aircraft relying on GPS.

The warning comes ahead of a defence command paper, set to be revealed Monday.

The document, released in the wake of the publication of the Integrated Review of Foreign and Defence Policy last week, will reportedly outline that up to £16.5 billion have been set aside for investments in new technologies.

As Air Commodore Paul Godfrey was named the newly formed organisation’s first commander, the RAF announced on its website on 1 February 2021 that Space Command will be a joint organisation staffed by personnel drawn from all three UK armed services, MoD civilians, and members of the commercial sector at the RAF Air Command site at High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire.

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