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Defence Space Strategy

Volume 709: debated on Monday 21 February 2022

Over and above the £5 billion already committed to satellite communications, we are investing an additional £1.5 billion in space capabilities. The defence space strategy sets out our focus on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, satellite communications, space domain awareness and space commander control. This clear strategic direction has been welcomed by industry and allies alike.

Space, in all its guises, presents us with an unparalleled opportunity to drive British science and technical innovation, create well-paid and rewarding jobs, boost our economy, and above all defend ourselves. Can my hon. Friend expand on what he has said, and tell the House what the MOD is doing to ensure that we deliver all those opportunities?

My hon. Friend is correct in every respect. That additional £1.5 billion of investment implies very significant space R&D and the jobs, skills and expertise that go with it. It includes investment in things such as ISTARI, our ISR programme, It also includes innovation spending, as part of the £1.5 billion package, and programmes such as Minerva. Through that investment, we are not only ensuring that we meet the threats of the future, but helping to build capability, expertise, skills and jobs that will serve defence and the wider civil space programme.