Defence leaders line up to plot future for the UK in space at first Defence Space Conference

16th May 2018

Defence leaders line up to plot future for the UK in space at first Defence Space Conference

London, UK, 16 May 2018: Over 40 leaders from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), industry and academia will join forces 21-22 May in London to plot the future direction for the UK in space at the inaugural Defence Space Conference.

An unprecedented line-up of speakers is confirmed, including Guto Bebb, UK Minister for Defence Procurement, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, Chief of the Air Staff, Will Jessett, MoD Director for Strategic Planning, Nick Ayling, Head of Space and Cyber Policy, and Dr Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency. They will meet with leaders across the military, space technology and academic spectrum to address how best to protect and defend vital space assets that underpin critical national infrastructure, enable military effectiveness and drive economic growth.

The two-day conference is being delivered by The Air Power Association on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and is set to become a biennial event. Over 40 speakers and panelists, including from overseas, will examine the Government’s space ambition and strategic intent against the backdrop of national and international space plans and detail the latest innovations and disruptive, affordable technologies in the military and civilian space spheres to inform a future UK military space capability.

The conference stems from the UK’s ‘Modernising Defence Programme’ initiative aimed at delivering a better, more affordable, military capability and more effective joint force operations to deter threats and counter risks to national security. According to new figures, around 97% of all military activity utilises space in one way or another. The MoD aims to use the event as a platform to strengthen its approach to space skills and governance development, research focus and crossGovernment working as well as international cooperation. In parallel, Defence Space is aimed at spotlighting the UK space sector and its niche capabilities .

Leading lights from industry will be attending and speaking, including from Airbus and Lockheed Martin, both strategic partners for this inaugural event. Niche space technology houses and cosponsors will also contribute, including Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, launch vehicle house, Skyrora, space access specialist Reaction Engines/BAE Systems, mobile satellite communications leader Inmarsat, military communications company Viasat and IT services group CGI.

A host of other technology enterprises, academia and UK Government departments will also participate and contribute to discussions around the development of affordable military space capabilities in areas such as launch, information processing, in-orbit servicing and debris management.

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