Nato build space hub amid fear China and Russia may 'shoot satellites'

Nato experts are building a ‘space hub’ to track Chinese and Russian weapons amid fears the countries may try to ‘shoot down satellites’

  • Jens Stoltenberg warned two countries were developing anti-satellite systems 
  • General Sir Patrick Sanders said the UK was not ‘fit for information age warfare’ 
  • Space centre, at the Ramstein air base, Germany, will gather threat information

NATO is building a new space hub to track Chinese and Russian weapons it fears may try to ‘shoot down satellites’, its secretary general said yesterday.

Jens Stoltenberg warned the two countries were developing anti-satellite systems.

His comments came as General Sir Patrick Sanders, the head of the Ministry of Defence’s Strategic Command, said Britain ‘is under direct threat, certainly in the cyber domain’. 

NATO is building a new space hub to track Chinese and Russian weapons it fears may try to ‘shoot down satellites’, its secretary general said yesterday (stock image used)

The UK was not ‘fit for information age warfare’ because defence forces were outdated, he added.

The space centre will be at the Ramstein air base in Germany and will gather information about possible threats to satellites. 

Mr Stoltenberg said: ‘Satellite systems keep our world running in ways many barely realise. Commerce, weather forecasts, mobile phones and banking all rely on satellites. 

‘Fast, effective and secure satellite communications are essential for our troops.

‘Some nations, including Russia and China, are developing anti-satellite systems which could blind, disable or shoot down satellites.’

Jens Stoltenberg (pictured) warned the two countries were developing anti-satellite systems

Speaking at the virtual Atlantic Future Forum conference, Sir Patrick said: ‘If you were to characterise the British defence forces that we have today, the armed forces we have today, you would describe them as joint and fit for industrial age warfare but not yet integrated and fit for information age warfare.’

He added: ‘Full spectrum means being able to deal with threats at home and away.

‘The idea that we are only going to play away fixtures is for the birds.

‘We are under direct threat in the UK, certainly in the cyber domain and also to greater extent in the maritime and the air domain.’ 

The chief also warned that Britain will always need hard power.

‘There’s always going to be an element of hard power where it doesn’t matter how capable you are in space, cyber space or how good you are manipulating data, if someone comes at you with a machete, you’ve got to be able to deal with that, there’s always a way of getting round technology’, he said.

The new NATO space centre will be established in the air force high command base in Ramstein, Germany and will monitor and work to protect friendly satellites.

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