The space domain is critical to Defence operations. The Joint Force relies on access to space systems and information – as do the Australian public.
From communications to traffic management – entire systems and entire societies are reliant on space. The military consequences of losing access to space are significant, with much of our forces reliant on space-based communications, intelligence and navigation.
Defence has acknowledged the importance of space, recognising space as an operational domain, alongside the existing domains of maritime, land, air and cyber.
Defence is a responsible space actor. All space operations are conducted consistent with international and domestic legal obligations. Among other initiatives, Australia is a participant of the Combined Space Operations (CSpO) initiative. CSpO improves information sharing on space and recognises that collaboration on space is a key force multiplier for all the countries involved. Under a common vision, the nations agree upon guiding principles and lines of effort to improve combined military space operations, foster cooperation and coordination and to collectively promote responsible behaviour in space.
To achieve Australia's strategic space ambitions and lead the effort to assure access to space, Defence Space Command was established on 18 January 2022. It brings members of Air Force, Army, Navy and the Australian Public Service together under an integrated headquarters reporting to the Chief of Air Force, as the Space Domain Lead.
Defence Space Command will:
- Develop and advocate for space specific priorities across Whole of Government, industry, allies and our international partners.
- Allow us to establish an organisation to create, train and sustain our people and assign trained space specialists to the Chief of Joint Operations when needed.
- Conduct strategic space planning, assist in the development of refinement of space policy, guide scientific and technological space priorities and define a resilient and effective space architecture in close collaboration with our allies.
- Ensure the design, construction, maintenance and operation of Defence space capabilities are in accordance with Defence standards and limitations.