According to media reports, the UK Ministry of Defense recently released its first independent doctrine document on national space power. The document focuses on four main topics including an introduction to the UK's space power, the goal of strengthening space power, clarifying space command, control, coordination and planning, and the employment of space power. Analysts believe that this marks that the development of the British military's space force construction has entered an "acceleration period". However, due to the limitation of its own strength, the UK's space force still faces many difficulties in its development.
Senior Colonel Shao Yongling, a military observer, pointed out that this document further clarified and strengthened the relevant content of the UK's space militarization construction, that is, the UK should increase its investment in the construction of space military forces to realize the UK's space interests; should protect and defend its space interests, use space capabilities to help and address domestic and international challenges and ensure that it is well-positioned to respond to modern military conflicts; should make the most of its global partnerships, maximize national resources to accelerate innovation in space defense through an inter-government space program and maintain a strategic advantage.
Shao believes that the construction and development of the British space force particularly emphasize cooperation and resource sharing with allies. While using the resources of other countries, it also proposes to use its own satellite system to provide strategic communication services for its allies. At the same time, it also pays attention to military-civilian integration and civilian-military use to reduce construction costs and make the means of situational awareness more diverse.
However, she pointed out that many programs proposed by the UK involve many projects, but there are few timetables and proposals. Considering the UK's own shortcomings in terms of cost and technology, the prospects for space power construction are not optimistic. The construction of the space force is very costly as many related plans in the UK require huge investment, nevertheless the annual military expenditure of more than 50 billion pounds is also used for aircraft carriers and other plans. Therefore, funding is a big problem for the UK to develop space power, and it is not known whether there is corresponding technical support for the implementation. The capability to overcome this series of resistance has exceeded the national strength of the UK.
At the same time, Shao pointed out that in recent years, countries such as the UK and the US have continuously strengthened the construction of space militarization. They are trying to expand the joint field and enhance the joint advantage to maintain their military hegemony in space. This has cast a shadow over the prospects for the global peaceful use of space. Western countries attempt to secure their military leadership by occupying the technological commanding heights in space. However, the militarization of space is contrary to the purpose of "peaceful uses of space". Most countries in the world hope that space can become a "pure land". China has also called for many times that space must be demilitarized and non-weaponized and must be used only for peaceful purposes.
Editor's note: Originally published on military.cnr.cn, this article is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online. The information and opinions in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn.