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Author: Subject: Space Warfare, all aspects

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[*] posted on 14-6-2018 at 09:27 AM

Japan launches another intelligence-gathering satellite

Kosuke Takahashi, Tokyo - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

13 June 2018

Japan launched on 12 June an H-2A rocket carrying an intelligence-gathering satellite from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA’s) launch site at the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, increasing the number to eight of such satellites the country has placed into orbit.

The Japanese government is expected to use the new IGS Radar 6 satellite, which was launched by JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), to monitor disaster-hit areas as well as developments at North Korean missile launch facilities, among other things.

IGS Radar 6, which is a synthetic-aperture, radar-imaging satellite capable of resolving objects on the ground day and night regardless of weather conditions, is expected to become operational in the near future along with the IGS Optical 6 reconnaissance satellite the country launched in February.

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[*] posted on 15-6-2018 at 09:22 AM

UK shut out as EU pushes ahead with Galileo

Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

14 June 2018

An artist’s impression of four Galileo navigation satellites being deployed from a special dispenser attached to the upper stage of the Ariane 5 rocket. Further UK industrial involvement in the project looks doubtful after the remaining EU members of the European Space Agency Council voted to move ahead with the next phase of contract awards. Source: European Space Agency

The United Kingdom has effectively been frozen out of the Galileo satellite navigation project after the European Union (EU) opted to proceed with the next stage of the effort ahead of any agreement that might allow British firms to compete for contracts.

A vote on 13 June by the council of the European Space Agency (ESA) that is delivering the project on behalf of the EU saw the remaining 27 EU member states agree to move ahead with issuing the next round of awards for the EUR10 billion (USD12 billion) enterprise.

That this decision was taken before terms could be agreed between the parties for continued post-Brexit involvement of the UK means that the country is now effectively a third party to the programme, with no scope for continued industrial participation.

In May, the Minister for Defence Procurement, Guto Bebb, said that the UK would be willing to walk away from Galileo and develop its own national system if it was unable to remain a full member of the project into which it has already invested GBP1.2 billion (USD1.6 billion).

While this decision to regard the UK as a third country does not formally exclude it from Galileo (Norway and Switzerland both enjoy third-party access), it does mean that many of the UK’s key demands for its involvement cannot be met. These include full eligibility for UK companies to compete for contracts, as well as unrestricted access to the encrypted Public Regulated Service (PRS) for the government and military, control of the PRS signal, and full participation in all security and PRS matters.

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[*] posted on 20-6-2018 at 12:52 PM

Trump wants a Space Force. Now what?

By: Valerie Insinna   5 hours ago

President Donald Trump holds up an executive order that he signed during a meeting of the National Space Council on June 18, 2018, in Washington, D.C. At the meeting, Trump directed the Defense Department to stand up a Space Force. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

[B]President Trump on Monday announced the creation of a new, sixth branch of the military, the Space Force, to be an independent force on par with existing branches. The move came despite reservations from some top military leaders. [/B]

WASHINGTON — On June 18, President Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon to begin establishing a new “Space Force,” a process that could add a sixth military service to the Defense Department.

But military service branches aren’t built overnight, and the department immediately went to work figuring out exactly how to stand up a space force.

“We understand the President’s guidance,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White later that day. “Our policy board will begin working on this issue, which has implications for intelligence operations for the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy. Working with Congress, this will be a deliberate process with a great deal of input from multiple stakeholders.”

Many questions have yet to be answered, including whether Trump can secure needed congressional support for the plan, the timeline to stand up a space force and whether it will fall under the Department of the Air Force or warrant the establishment of its own department and budget.

“This is a very big bureaucratic shift, lots of complex moving parts, lots of budget implications, doctrine implications, command relationship implications, funding implications, legal implications, all of those have to be worked out,” said Brian Weeden, director of program planning for space policy thinktank Secure World Foundation and a former Air Force officer working in space situational awareness.

The first of those hurdles is Congress. Although Trump’s directive propels the issue forward, reversing the Defense Department’s long-held opposition to a separate space force, only Congress can amend Title 10 of the United States Code to create a new military service.

And some lawmakers — including several powerful members on the defense committees — have already indicated that they could throw up barriers to the execution of Trump’s order.

“Establishing a service branch requires congressional action,” said Rep. Mike Turner, an Ohio Republican who chairs the House Armed Services tactical air and land subcommittee and one of the biggest opponents to the space force idea. “We still don’t know what a Space Force would do, who is going to be in it, or how much is it going to cost.

“The congressionally mandated report evaluating a Space Force to answer those questions is due in August,” Turner added. “After we get the report that we required as a legislative body and the President signed off on, then this issue can be appropriately evaluated for what’s best for national security.”

Even if Congress can be persuaded to create a space force, Weeden warned that the process will take years — especially as both the House and Senate have already passed their versions of the defense policy bill for fiscal year 2019.

“You’re talking about FY20 being the first time that actually happens, and there’s not a whole lot the military can do until changes in the authorization [bill] and to Title 10,” he said, adding that the issue could be even further complicated, delayed or dropped altogether if Democrats win the House this fall or if Trump loses the election in 2020.

Todd Harrison, director of the aerospace security project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, agreed that FY2020’s defense policy bill would likely be the starting point for legislative changes.

“It’s not a given that Congress will pass this, and it will be up to Congress to work out all of the details,” he said.

“Then you start the implementation process, and it will probably take at least two or three years to actually stand up the new service.”

So you want to build a space corps?

But once Congress makes the legal changes necessary to stand up a space force, the effort won’t get any easier.

Trump’s comments referred to a “space force” that would be “separate but equal” to the Air Force — leading experts to believe he favors standing up a completely independent service like the Army, Navy or Air Force rather than something in line with House lawmakers’ “space corps” proposal — a space service that would still fall under the Department of the Air Force but would have its own uniform, budget and chain of command.

And experts said a purely independent space force could potentially entail big increases to the space budget and military space personnel.

“I think it’s going to be more bureaucracy, and I think people are going to thrash about for years trying to pull this thing together,” said former Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James. “And that thrashing will take away from focusing on these other problems.”

James said that the military has already added billions of dollars to the space enterprise over the last few years. If more money is needed, she said, Congress should appropriate more — but a new space force wouldn’t solve it.

Space currently makes up a very small portion of the military services’ budget and operations.

The Air Force is responsible for the preponderance of military space activity, but Air Force Space Command is comprised of only 38,000 people and the service’s unclassified space budget averages about $10 billion per year. The Navy also manages some space programs through Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, while the Army has some space functions in its Space and Missile Defense Command.

But Weeden warned that it’s possible that as space operators are pulled into a single service, the existing services could also try to keep their own organic space capabilities in much the way that the Army, Marine Corps and Navy continued buying and flying their own aircraft even after the Air Force was stood up.

Space force leaders could also push for greater spending on space, expanding the defense budget or taking away funding for other priorities.

“I think it would mean a lot more people and budget, and so far that’s not in any proposals anywhere,” Weeden said. “And if you’re talking about adding tens of thousands of more, well that has budget implications, that has recruiting implications, it’s going to take a while to do that. It’s not something that happens overnight, and it’s not something that’s in the budget [plans].”

However, Harrison noted that the department could simply realign its existing people, organizations and infrastructure into one single chain of command. That would keep the budget roughly the same, with some adjustments to overhead expenses.

“Or you could choose to gold-plate it,” he said. “If you want to make it expensive, you could create a brand new service academy, you could create all sorts of new bases around the country.”

The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-5) successfully launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on September 7th, 2017. (Senior Airman Timothy Kirchner/U.S. Air Force)

Weeden opposes formulating a separate service for space in part because he believes it won’t necessarily solve one of the key problems facing defense space operations: a sluggish, bureaucratic acquisition process.

“Why not just solve the problem with what we have right now?” he said. “I have my own frustrations. It’s been seven, eight years since they [the Air Force] have had this direction to focus on resilience and we haven’t really seen them do anything. But in the last six months there have been signs that they’re finally taking it seriously and making changes.”

James also agreed with criticisms that the acquisition process is too slow, particularly when it comes to space. Some steps have been taken to address that, particularly at the Space and Missile Systems Center at Air Force Space Command, and other transaction authorities are being used for space contracting.

“Do you want to know more?”

Another challenge for a future space force comes down to culture. When Trump’s announcement hit, users on Twitter joked that the military would finally settle the question of whether a space warfighting force would reflect an army or navy-style rank structure.

However, such matters will need to be spelled out and could become controversial, especially if airmen, sailors, Marines and soldiers find themselves shuffled into a new service they had never planned to join.

“How do you create a unified cadre of personnel in the space force, and what are the unique characteristics of people that you want in that cadre? Because it doesn’t need to necessarily model what the other services do in terms of the rank structure, in terms of career progression, in terms of the skills. I would go into this with a clean sheet of paper,” said Harrison, who added that space forces could be required to have more math and science training.

“You need to make it distinct, culturally, from all of the other services,” he continued. “Part of that is through training that you start sending people through the same common induction training, whether it’s bootcamp or field training or whatever…and you start to build that ethos. ’This is who we are. We’re space operators. That’s what we do.”

Weeden said one model worth considering is U.S. Special Operations Command, which pulls in troops from all of the different services who operate under their own unique command structure, with different acquisition rules, doctrine and culture than conventional forces.

Stephen Losey and Joe Gould contributed to this report.
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[*] posted on 21-6-2018 at 06:55 PM

Cut the Red Tape Slowing the Pentagon’s Race to Space

By Mike Rogers
David Abshire Chair, Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress

June 19, 2018

Lauri Väin via CC2.0

If the Air Force is to harness cheap satellites and reusable rockets, it must transform a risk-averse bureaucracy built for a different era.

The U.S. Air Force’s space acquisition model—fundamentally risk-adverse, oriented towards big, expensive, complex system—worked when national power was built by launching a single billion-dollar satellite every six months. In a world with cheap satellites and reusable rockets, it is no longer sufficient.

If we want to take advantage of new capabilities, we can’t rely on today’s ponderous certification and government overhead processes. Fortunately, the Air Force’s senior leadership clearly recognizes the benefits of more agile, flexible, and rapid procurement. The problem is that this attitude isn’t filtering down to the bureaucracy fast enough. There’s no silver bullet; the answer will be collective reform from multiple angles. Here are a few.

The Air Force’s Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), which are responsible for “mission assurance,” need to truly go fast – not recklessly or by cutting corners, but by simply going faster. The Air Force itself has the power to do this: by changing the contracts, requirements, and compliance documents the service can and should minimize unnecessary and outdated items that were purpose-built for a different era. The Air Force must mandate that the FFRDCs work to tighter timelines. It must review the regulations and oversight frameworks and eliminate unnecessary compliance requirements that add work, but not value.

Simultaneously, the Air Force, and its technical advisors, need to improve their processes to efficiently consume these data.

Partnerships between launch providers and the Air Force need to adopt a left-seat, right-seat mentality, sitting side-by-side (when appropriate) to review performance data and address issues on a rolling basis. The launch partners want to work with the Air Force and stand ready to do so. Indeed, SpaceX, Blue Origin, and others are generating volumes of data on the performance and capabilities of their rockets.

It is not as if these companies are operating in a vacuum with no risk oversight. Commercial purchasers of launch—sophisticated buyers and their insurers—are satisfied with the performance and signing up for launches, shown by SpaceX’s capture of over 60 percent of the global commercial launch market in 2018.

Getting to this level of comfort requires a fundamental culture shift at the U.S. Air Force and within the space enterprise. The Air Force understands reusability. They do it every day, although they may not think about it that way. They fly hundreds of aircraft every day on training missions and day-to-day operations. Each of these aircraft have maintenance checks that detail at X number of hours such and such is done. thus ensuring that the vehicles are airworthy and capable of flight.

We need to get to the same point with reusable rockets.

SpaceX’s Block 5 boosters of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy are expected to fly at least 10 times. Blue Origin’s New Glenn is expected to fly multiple times as well. If we treat each of these rockets as new vehicles each time, costs will increase and the advantages of using reusable rockets will be thrown away.

If we can succeed here, changing the culture and mentality, and improve the certification process, we can change the government’s overhead parameters as well. Under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program, every payload is treated as “exquisite”. That’s just silly. There is a big difference between a luxury Cadillac and a Toyota Camry, yet under the Air Force’s “mission assurance” parameters, they are treated the same.

We also, and critically, need to change the acquisition culture.

New capabilities offer new risks, but also new opportunities. The Air Force program and contracts managers need to know that their leadership has their back. They need to know that if they fail but fail smartly their leadership will defend them and support them.

This also requires getting Congress to support the Secretary of the Air Force and the service’s senior leadership. If there are failures, and undoubtedly there will be— it is rocket engineering, after all—it is not some massive scandal or an opportunity for point-scoring.

Those same contracts officers need to know and understand the authorities they already have. This requires better training as a first step and regular promotion of effective contracts officers based on program success, not arbitrary compliance metrics.

America’s greatest military engineering programs could not have succeeded in today’s environment. Gen. Bernard Schriever, the father of the Air Force’s missile and space program would never have succeeded if his leadership didn’t support him and Congress didn’t appreciate the mission and its complexity. Adm. Hyman Rickover could not have developed the nuclear Navy if his program managers didn’t feel empowered to take smart risks.

Changing the culture, changing the mindset, and changing the bureaucracy takes time, something we don’t have. Failing to go fast, smartly, now will cede the long-term advantages of space to our adversaries. That is something we as taxpayers and citizens can’t afford.
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[*] posted on 22-6-2018 at 12:08 PM

As Trump pushes for separate space force, Russia moves fast the other way

By: Matthew Bodner   9 hours ago

The second Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite, Sentinel-3B, awaits liftoff aboard a launcher April 25, 2018, at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. (Stephane Corvaja/European Space Agency via Getty Images)

MOSCOW — Since the USSR launched Sputnik in 1957, space has always been seen as a domain for potential conflict. The technology required to reach orbit has inherent military applications, and the importance of space-based military assets — communications and intelligence satellites — has only grown over the past 60 years.

But few have been as explicit about the military aspects of space technology as U.S. President Donald Trump. Announcing an executive order on June 19 to create a sixth branch of the U.S. military, known as the Space Force, Trump said a new service was needed to ensure American dominance on the high frontier — apparently undercutting his defense secretary, James Mattis.

“We don’t want China and Russia and other countries leading us,” Trump said.

An effigy of the dog Laika, the first living creature in space, inside a replica of the satellite Sputnik II at the Central House of Aviation and Cosmonautics in Moscow. (Mladen Antonov/AFP via Getty Images)

This justification is particularly vexing when taking into account what these potential American adversaries are actually doing in space, especially Russia. Trump is moving to separate space activities from the Air Force, but in 2015 Russia actually merged its space force with the air force in an attempt to consolidate command authority and replicate the traditional U.S. approach.

The Russian Aerospace Forces, as the branch is now known, is in many ways a three-branch service combining elements of the space forces, air forces, as well as air and missile defense forces under a single command. Beyond following the American example, Russia’s justification was that space is increasingly integrated, rather than separated, from everything else.

Announcing the merger in 2015, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the merger “makes it possible [...] to concentrate in a single command all responsibility for formulating military and technical policy for the development of troops dealing with tasks in the aerospace theater and [...] to raise the efficiency of their use through closer integration.”

If Trump has his way, the United States and Russia will have switched their historic outlooks on space as a domain of war. And the United States may be moving backward.

“The reason for Russia’s integration, is that the ISR capabilities required for air defense, missile defense, and anti satellite missions are closely related and multirole,” says Michael Kofman, an expert on the Russian military at the Virginia-based CNA think tank. “Their mission definitions and the boundary between them is entirely contrived and artificial.”

The fourth domain

The problem that space has presented military thinkers since the ‘50s is where to draw the line between air and space activities. In broad strokes, the United States very quickly ruled everything above ground is the domain of the air force, while the Soviet Union drew a line and distinguished between air and space as zones of operation and divvied responsibilities as such.

Back then, military space assets were quite limited and authority over activities in space were given to the Strategic Rocket Forces — the branch of the Soviet and now Russian military with command authority over nuclear ballistic missiles. The left the branch responsible for space launches and whatever military hardware was placed into orbit.

This state of affairs began to change in the 1980s, when command over Soviet space assets were subordinated directly under the Ministry of Defense in light of their expanding role. In 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new Russia created a special branch, the Space Forces, to oversee space launch, space defenses, long-range radars, and so on.

Mostly due to bureaucratic agendas driven by a variety of defense ministers over the next 20 years, the space forces moved in and out of the Strategic Rocket Forces again. Much of the thinking was driven by observation of American offensive strategies seen in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan — unified attacks from the air involving heavy use of space assets.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, foreground left, looks at exhibits as he visits the Cosmonautics Memorial Museum in Moscow, Russia, on April 11, 2014. (Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik via AP)

“In the 2000s, it became clear that missile defense and air defense were becoming closer, that long-range radars are adept not only at tracking missiles, but also for control of airspace and tracking satellites in orbit,” says Pavel Luzin, an independent Russian space and defense analyst. “So in 2011, Russia’s space forces were merged with the air defense forces.”

But there was much overlap between the newly christened Aerospace Defense Forces and the Air Force, leading to their consolidation into the Aerospace Forces (VKS) in 2015.


Russia’s gradual integration of space forces with the air force represents something of an evolution in thinking over time — though bureaucratic factors should not be overlooked — concerning where air and space meet and how to operate in and between them. Where there was once a gap, Russia now sees a unified theater.

Much of this has to do with evolving aerospace technologies, and their uses. Whereas there was once a line dividing the air and space theaters, about 40km and 100km according to Maxim Shepovalenko, an analyst at the Moscow-based Center for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, there is now a unified aerospace theater.

Moreover, the aerospace domain is now a strategic one. “Fighting in the integrated aerospace domain with strategic goals in mind, both offensively and defensively, requires unity of effort and command,” Shepovalenko says before quoting Giulio Douhet, a noted air power theorist, on adapting to the changing nature of war.

Russia clearly sees itself as the disadvantaged force in aerospace, especially when it comes to military space applications. For years now, they have attempted to coax the United States to sign on to a Russian proposal to the U.N. calling for an international pledge to refrain from first placement of weapons in outer space. The U.S. and EU have refrained from signing on.

The U.S. objections are reasonable enough: Russia’s proposal, backed by China, does not adequately define space weapons and overlooks an entire class of weapons being developed by those two countries: ground-launched anti-satellite weapons. Russia reportedly ran a test of a direct-ascent ASAT missile earlier this year.

U.S. hesitance to sign onto Russia’s proposal has been used by Russian media and officials to accuse Washington of attempting to gain an upper-hand in a coming cosmic arms race. Trump’s proposal to create a U.S. space force struck similar chords in Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, railing against it on June 20th.

“The most alarming thing about this news is the aim of his instructions, namely to ensure domination in space,” Zakharova said. Repeating previous accusations, she claimed the proposal masked “plans to bring weapons into space with the aim of possibly staging military action there.”

As is customary for Russian officials, she said such plans would have a “destabilizing effect on strategic stability and international security.”
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[*] posted on 24-6-2018 at 04:08 PM

Key Lawmaker Expects Congress to Begin Creating New Space Force (UPDATED)


By Jon Harper

A leader of a powerful congressional committee expects legislators to begin developing a framework in the coming months for the new Space Force that President Donald Trump wants to establish.

On June 18, the commander-in-chief directed the Defense Department to start setting up a Space Force that would be “separate but equal” to the Air Force and the other services.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, voiced support for the initiative June 21 during a breakfast on Capitol Hill hosted by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

Rogers is chairman of the HASC subcommittee on strategic forces, which has oversight of the Pentagon’s space efforts. He and other House members had previously proposed creating a Space Corps that would be a separate organization within the Department of the Air Force, which manages the vast majority of the military’s space programs.

Trump’s proposal would go even further by completely breaking off the space enterprise from the Air Force’s portfolio.

“The president decided just to go straight there and I’m fine with that,” Rogers said.

Rogers noted that last year’s National Defense Authorization Act directed Pentagon leadership to deliver two reports to Congress on the implications of setting up a Space Corps. The first, due in August, will include an organizational assessment and address whether a new organization is needed. The second, due in December, is supposed to address what it would look like, how it would be implemented and how much it would cost, he said.

The reports will likely play a major role in shaping how the creation of a new Space Force plays out, he said.

“I’m pretty sure [the August report is] going to say we think we need to go past a Space Corps and have a Space Force, because the commander-in-chief has just said that’s what he wants,” Rogers said.

“Then I expect we will proceed in the Congress at starting to prepare the statutory work for the next NDAA to implement this,” he added. “When the December report comes in … we will take that as additional information to employ as we fashion the next year’s NDAA, which I believe will then enact the statutory framework to set up the segregated service.”

Rogers has been a vocal critic of the Air Force’s management of its space enterprise, arguing that it is not agile enough to keep pace with the growing threat posed by China and Russia, which are investing heavily in their own space and counter-space capabilities.

Air Force leaders have strongly opposed the idea of creating a Space Corps, much less a completely separate Space Force.

Service officials who say space acquisition is not broken are "in denial," Rogers said. “Thankfully the man that really matters in all of this — President Trump — seems to be on board [with shaking up the system], so I’m pretty confident this is going to work itself out.”

Analysts have noted that Trump can’t unilaterally create a Space Force, but must have support from Congress. The HASC and the Senate Armed Services Committee would need to sign off on the reorganization and provide a legislative framework for it.

Todd Harrison, director of the aerospace security project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Trump’s directive could silence opposition from the Air Force and increase the odds that lawmakers would give the green light for creating a separate space branch for the military.

The cost associated with reorganizing the Defense Department to establish a Space Force is unclear at this point, but Rogers said he doesn’t anticipate a hefty price tag. Preexisting organizations and infrastructure would be folded into the new branch, he noted.

“I don’t see it being significantly more expensive than what we’re doing now,” he said. “It’s going to add [some] expense because now you’re going to have a separate secretary and complete service structure, but other than that we’re just taking the existing personnel — both military and civilian — that are working on space and segregating them, but also segregating their money and their mission and developing a culture that’s going to be focused on space dominance.”

Trump’s Space Force announcement, which took much of Washington officialdom by surprise, did not spell out how broad the reorganization would be. While the bulk of military space projects currently fall under the purview of the Air Force, the Army and Navy also have space-related assets, as does the intelligence community.

In a June 18 statement, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said the department would need to take time to consider potential changes.

"We understand the president's guidance," she said. "Our Policy Board will begin working on this issue, which has implications for intelligence operations for the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy. Working with Congress, this will be a deliberate process with a great deal of input from multiple stakeholders."

Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisitions, technology and logistics, was asked if he was concerned that the creation of a Space Force might be disruptive to the acquisition community.

"I’m not going to speculate on anything," he said during a meeting with reporters at the Pentagon June 21. "We’ll go through the process and we’ll work with everybody until we decide how we’re going to go forward.”

Bunch said the service's space acquisition improvement initiatives, such as the creation of a new Space Rapid Capabilities Office, will continue to move forward for the time being.

"We are executing exactly the way that we’ve been executing to try to speed up acquisition in space," he said. "We had already made commitments that we were going to try to speed things up. We’re going to continue to do those things. Nothing in that aspect has changed [since Trump's announcement], and we will let the deliberative process play out. We’ll be a contributor to it, but we’re going to keep running the way we’re going until we get told otherwise.”

Rogers predicted that the Air Force, Army and Navy space enterprises would be folded into the new Space Force, but the intelligence community — including the National Reconnaissance Office and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency — and the Missile Defense Agency would not see their enterprises moved into the new organization.

“We’ll see,” he said. “I didn’t know the president was going to say what he said on Monday [when he made the Space Force announcement], so he may have much bigger designs than mine.”

Update: This story has been updated to include comments from Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch.
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[*] posted on 26-6-2018 at 11:36 AM

How Soon Could U.S. Create A Space Force?

Jun 26, 2018

Jen DiMascio | Aviation Week & Space Technology

President Donald Trump’s call for a sixth military service dedicated to space may have moved the debate over whether to create a “space force” to a question of when it can be created.

Speaking at a National Space Council meeting at the White House on June 18, Trump handed the missive to Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, saying the U.S. Air Force and the new space force would be “separate, but equal.”

The space force idea is not new. Last year, Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) secured House support for the creation of a space corps within the Air Force, which would operate the way the Marine Corps functions as a part of the Navy.

- Yet to be decided is how a space force would be organized
- Retired general says the military needs to agree on a theory of space power, and demonstrate direct combat effects in and from space

The Air Force and the Pentagon lobbied against the issue, arguing it would be disruptive and duplicative, and the Senate ultimately rejected the creation of a space corps. Instead, the House and Senate agreed on a compromise: to study what it would take to build a new service for space, within the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, and lay the groundwork.

Rogers says he intended creation of a corps as the first step to a space force and estimates that by drawing on existing personnel, Congress could approve the idea next year and create the force within the next two years.

All sides of this argument recognize that space acquisitions need to be accelerated rapidly because the U.S.’s multibillion-dollar satellite constellations are increasingly vulnerable to attack.

The intelligence community has been warning about these increased threats since 2012. More recently, public reports from think tanks such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) point out that a laser could dazzle U.S. missile-warning satellites long enough to delay a response to a nuclear missile launch, or disable their power systems altogether. One recent CSIS study says lasers and high-powered microwaves can disrupt and corrupt satellite electronics, and a satellite’s communications capabilities could be jammed or spoofed.

It is not simply that the U.S. has seen Russia and China test these capabilities, but their military doctrine makes clear either nation intends to target U.S. space assets in the event of a war, says Marty Faga, who led the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in the early 1990s.

The question is how to respond to those threats.

As threats to U.S. national security satellites grow, there is a question as to whether the nation should create a branch of the military dedicated to space. Credit: Lockheed Martin Concept

Rogers has complained for years that the Air Force has too many officials involved in its programs to make rapid decisions.

And he points to Government Accountability Office reports that blame the service’s “fragmented leadership” of space programs for massive cost overruns and schedule delays on multibillion-dollar space programs for missile warning and protected satellite communications.

Rogers dismisses recent efforts to reorganize Air Force space acquisitions for speed as “moving chairs around on the deck.” He maintains the main obstacle to success is the service’s bureaucracy, which is why he is pushing for a separate service.

Since the president’s Space Council statement, the Pentagon and Air Force are formally complying with the president’s guidance. “Our policy board will begin working on this issue, which has implications for intelligence operations for the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy. Working with Congress, this will be a deliberate process with a great deal of input from multiple stakeholders,” said Dana White, chief Pentagon spokesperson, in a statement.

The Air Force already has been trying to mend its ways internally.

Earlier this month, Lt. Gen. John Thompson, who leads the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), said a recent workforce study noted the two top words to describe the organization are “bureaucratic” and “slow.” Thompson says the Air Force has canceled the acquisition of two planned Space-Based Infrared System satellites for missile warning in favor of the more rapid acquisition of two Overhead Persistent Infrared satellites and implementing a plan that calls for rapid upgrades of that next constellation. And the Air Force has created a Rapid Capabilities Office that uses new congressional authorities for rapid prototyping.

Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the Air Force’s military deputy for acquisitions, says the service’s plan for reorganizing will work. “I believe [SMC reorganization] is speeding things up,” Bunch says. “I am watching what is being done and watching the changes and am already seeing a difference. Those are just the tip of the iceberg.” He adds the service will need to prove to lawmakers that its plans are working.

Outside the Air Force, retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula, dean of the Mitchell Institute of Aerospace Power Studies, has laid out parameters for the negotiation that lies ahead as Congress considers creating a new service.

Rather than specific timetable, he says the new space service should be created only if it meets two conditions that are so far unmet: “an accepted general theory of space power, and demonstrated direct combat effects in and from space.” Meeting those requirements would be needed to justify adding bureaucracy and cost, Deptula explains. He notes that the Air Force has been integrating its air and space operations into joint, multi-domain operations with the other services.

“This effort could be put at enormous risk by the disconnection of space forces from the integration of air and space that has occurred in the Air Force as a critical component of joint warfighting,” Deptula says. “Segregating the space enterprise before the space community matures its warfighting culture risks disruption and delay, which will challenge integrated and converged multi-domain joint solutions; precisely counter to important trends in the joint warfighting community focused on increasing combat capability across domains. Now is a time for greater integration across domains, not distractions from efforts to increase combat capability through multi-domain integration.”

A space force cannot be created without Congress. But lawmakers already have taken the first step. Next up are the results of a study by Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan that are expected before the fall, and the Center for Naval Analyses is scheduled to deliver another report by December on how to create a new force.

Enacting a space force mandate could happen as Rogers suggests, but it is by no means a foregone conclusion. Among the issues to be resolved are: how a service of $8-10 billion would coexist with the larger Air Force and its budget of nearly $150 billion; whether to combine the space components of the Air Force, U.S. Army and U.S. Navy; and whether to include the intelligence services that deal with space—the NRO and National Geospatial Intelligence Office. Rogers says he would not opt to include intelligence space agencies, but there is no agreement on that matter.

Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project, says the president’s statement was significant because it directs the Pentagon, which—along with the Air Force—had opposed the proposal, to get on board.

“Now that the Air Force resistance is muted by the president, the resistance in the Senate might fade. I think this increases the odds that something happens in Congress,” Harrison says.
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[*] posted on 4-7-2018 at 07:47 PM

Japan looks to develop space technologies for defence

Jon Grevatt, Bangkok - IHS Jane's Defence Industry

04 July 2018

The Japanese government wants to encourage its national space organisation, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), to play a greater role in developing defence technologies and capabilities, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera has announced.

He indicated that space-based technologies could be highlighted as priority capabilities in Japan’s new National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) and Medium Term Defense Program (MTDP), which are both scheduled to be introduced before the end of 2018 and will outline Japan Self-Defence Forces (JSDF) requirements during 2019-2023.

In comments published by the MoD on 2 July, Onodera said, “We hope to strengthen the co-operative relationship between the Ministry of Defense and JAXA and provide opportunities to deepen space development for future defence and security purposes.”

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[*] posted on 18-7-2018 at 09:44 PM

Farnborough 2018: UK launches Gallifrey Group to target US space market

Charles Forrester, Farnborough - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

17 July 2018

UK industry is working to position itself for opportunities in the US defence space market, with the launching of the Gallifrey Group at the Farnborough Air Show.

The group, formed by the UK Department of International Trade’s Defence and Security Organisation (DSO) but now handed off to industry, is a joint effort by a range of prime contractors and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to target export opportunities for the country’s space industry by leveraging defence equipment expertise.

Speaking to Jane’s on 17 July at the show, group representative Galahad Jones said that a key component in the organisation’s growth strategy has been in the engagement with academia to target the development of equipment that is in the early stages of the technology readiness levels (TRLs).

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[*] posted on 19-7-2018 at 12:03 AM

The Brits are a bit keen on Dr Who aren't they...

Paddywhackery not included.
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