Paris, 14 July 2019 (dpa/MIA) – France is to set up a military command for outer space within its air force, President Emmanuel Macron announced on Saturday.
Cyberspace and outer space were “new zones of confrontation,” Macron told top military officials and troops due to take part in the Bastille Day military parade on Sunday.
The French leader said he had approved a new military doctrine for space that will “enable us to defend ourselves in space and via space.”
“We will strengthen our knowledge of the situation in space and we will protect our satellites better, including by active means,” Macron said.
The French air force “will in due course become the Air and Space Force,” Macron added, promising that the “essential new investments will be approved.”
The United States announced last year that it would create a Space Force as a sixth arm of its military by 2020, a project close to President Donald Trump’s heart.
The head of France‘s armed forces said Friday that the country had a “strong political will to keep ahead” in space and cyberspace.
“Until now, we thought of it as somewhere from which you would create effects on Earth,” Chief of Staff Philippe Lecointre told newspaper Le Monde. “Now, we are thinking about action in space.”
France will continue to campaign against the “militarization” of space internationally, Lecointre said, but it will also “defend itself and develop its capacities to detect threats to our satellites.”