Australia launches Defense Space Command with sights on China, Russia

Sydney, Australia, Mar 23 (EFE).- Australia has established a Defense Space Command with a view to countering threats from China and Russia with the collaboration of the United States and other allies.

The new military agency, which emulates the US Space Force, will be led by Defense Space Commander Air Vice-Marshal Cath Roberts and will coordinate the operations in space of the Australian army, air force and navy, the defense ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Australia’s geographical location and vast open land in the southern hemisphere helps us see things that others can’t. We will continue to work closely with our allies and international partners to mutually assure the responsible use of the space domain,” Roberts said.

Defense Minister Peter Dutton announced the launch of the new space command at the Royal Australian Air Force conference on Tuesday.

He described space as a “domain which must be used to deter aggression” and warned that space was becoming “more congested.”

“Russia and China are already developing hypersonic missiles which can travel at more than 6,000 kilometers per hour,” Dutton said in his address at the conference, in which he also touched upon China’s “rapid militarization.”

Dutton explained that the space command will be Australia’s contribution to ensuring “a safe, stable and secure space domain.”

The Australian government has committed to investing some AU$7 billion ($5.22 billion) over this decade to improve the country’s space capabilities.

Australia, a historical ally of the US, signed the AUKUS defense pact with Washington and London in September, which includes the construction of nuclear-powered submarines for the country to counter China in the Indo-Pacific region.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, announced the government’s plan to increase defense personnel by 18,500 for a total of around 80,000 troops by 2040 with the aim of dealing with the “threats” facing the country in the Indo-Pacific region. EFE


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