UK marks importance of Space for military operations with launch of Defence Space Conference

11th April 2018

London, UK, 11 April 2018: The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has launched the first Defence Space Conference, signalling the growing importance of the space domain for the UK’s military capability and national security.

Defence Space 2018, to be held in London on 21-22 May, will explore the UK’s space ambition and provide attendees with insight into the Government’s strategic intent against the backdrop of national and international plans. The event, organized by The Air Power Association, will also explore the latest innovations and disruptive, affordable technologies in the military and civilian space spheres and drive thought leadership around the UK’s future military space capability.

Noting the importance of the event, General Sir Gordon Messenger, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, said: ‘Understanding of Space, our reliance on it, value of services from it, capabilities, threats and risks are becoming essential knowledge for all and we are on the path to normalise space thinking and planning across every aspect of what we do.’

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, Chief of the Air Staff, Royal Air Force, said: ‘We depend on space, militarily and in our everyday lives. We tend to see it as a free good. It isn’t – our use of space is going to be challenged, and we need to have the understanding, capability and resilience to protect our interests there.’

Confirmed keynote speakers include: UK Minister for Defence Procurement, Guto Bebb; MoD Director of Strategic Planning, Will Jessett; Assistant Chief of Staff for Air Capability, Air Vice-Marshal Simon ‘Rocky’ Rochelle; Head of Cyber and Space Policy, Nick Ayling; and Sir Martin Sweeting, Executive Chairman of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. The two-day conference, hosting around 450 delegates, will comprise four sessions on the first day: the changing nature of the space domain, legal frameworks and norms; the future of the Space Operations Centre and its role in military space operations; strategic communications and military and commercial satellites; and international collaboration and future structures. The second day of the conference will build on these high-level themes and highlight opportunities for the UK to develop affordable military space capabilities in areas such as launch, information processing, in-orbit servicing and debris management.

Explaining the importance of the new conference, Chairman of The Air Power Association, Air Commodore (Ret’d) Mark Roberts, said: ‘Defence Space 2018 will provide a platform for the UK MoD to debate emerging thinking on a wide variety of space issues with stakeholders from across the space community. This promises to be a ground-breaking conference for the UK and I am delighted that The Air Power Association is delivering it on behalf of the MoD.’

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About The Air Power Association
The Air Power Association is an authoritative voice and platform for discussion and debate on how air power influences today’s world and its relevance to the future.
Through conferences, debates and forums, we stimulate discussion of the air power environment. Our vision is to be the trusted voice in air power debate; our reputation, close relationships with the UK Ministry of Defence, the defence industrial base, the practitioners of air power and those with a keen interest in the subject gives us unique access to the heart of the subject.
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