Speech: Defence Secretary’s speech on the Defence house convention 2020

first rate afternoon, it’s a fine pleasure to talk to you at the end of what has certainly been a desirable and vast-ranging convention.

The diversity of audio system – over 45, from the uk and overseas, and armed forces and civilian sectors, as well as academia and personal trade – suggests simply how crucial space is, appropriate throughout these days’s society.

Such value risks dependence and vulnerability, nonetheless it also creates opportunity and offers benefits.

this is why the major Minister has such a transparent imaginative and prescient for the uk as an outstanding Science power, with credibility and ambition in house at its coronary heart. #F This convention has confirmed how defence will play a vital half in reaching that imaginative and prescient.

We’ve heard from the manager of the Air staff about modern society’s dependence on space functions.

And we’ve been reminded how our adversaries are increasingly in the hunt for to weaponise area.

In contemporary years extra international locations have used Anti-satellite tv for pc weapons.

previous this year, alongside the U.S. Chief of house Operations, I referred to as out Russia’s aggression in orbit.

however house weapons are not our handiest challenge. floor-based lasers and jammers could also pose a significant danger to our satellites. And their aiding infrastructure on the ground additionally remains a significant target.

No wonder one of the regular refrains you’ve got heard all over this conference and, indeed, all through this year of Covid, has been the magnitude of resilience.

Commander UK Strategic Command set out how we must develop into more resilient in space if we’re to set up the ‘digital backbone’ and achieve Multi domain Integration.

And we have now regarded space as an operational area, driving the construction of capabilities to increase resilience and competitiveness.

we are, of route, no longer the most effective ones and you’ve heard from many of our Allies in the US, France and NATO, are also alongside us, and they are going to be a part of that adventure as well.

but there are those steps by which I want the uk MOD to now lead on this event:

First, our potential to mobilise.

We need to recognize our vulnerabilities. understand our reliance on house – whether for imagery, communications, or navigation. And, within the adventure that we lose entry to our satellite services, have a contingency plan competent.

So, we’re working very intently with the uk space company to create a national area Operations ability.

it is going to enhance the way we share facts.

it will support us act unhindered to secure our country wide pursuits in space.

And, alongside our UK area Command, it is going to enhance defence’s potential to generate and operate its own machine.

2nd, resilience may be about modernising what we have – strengthening our current capabilities.

That’s why we are bringing SKYNET into defence possession. it is going to give our personnel the tools to function an international-leading satellite tv for pc constellation and ensure they dwell at the cutting-edge of house journey and advantage.

And that’s why, back in July, we awarded a contract worth £500-million for SKYNET 6A. This new, more advanced satellite capability will supply continued communications assist to the united kingdom’s deployed forces for many years.

in the meantime, we’re carrying on with the hunt for the newest house innovations.

i’m delighted that our first ever overseas house Pitch Day became so successful, and congratulations to the profitable bids.

With improvements from area climate to space area awareness, I desire these ten corporations every success as they circulation forward with defence contracts.

eventually, resilience could be about remodeling for the long run. Going further and sooner. developing subsequent-era and technology-after-next, technology and the individuals and structures to take advantage of them.

That’s why we’ve created the Defence space commercial enterprise Portfolio.

Bonding astonishing industry advantage with MOD’s house Directorate and our world main DSTL.

remodeling the latest research into game altering house innovations.

now not most effective deterring hazards however quick-tracking imaginitive kit to convey to the frontline of space.

because resilience may be our watchword. but it goes hand in hand with probability.

Our evolving country wide space strategy will help us deliver these grand ambitions and defence will play its part – mobilising, modernising, and remodeling.

So interesting times lie forward. last yr we celebrated 50 years for the reason that the united kingdom’s first challenge into house.

on account that then the dynamism of you – our superb British scientists, defense force and industrial experts – has not wavered.

And your carrying on with commitment will ensure that in the coming decade world Britain takes its vicinity as a space vigour in the new area Age.