France this week simulated an attack by a hostile power on one of its companions in a war game scenario. According to the French government, this scenario is not fantastic, but quite real, so they are preparing for it with the help of war games.
President Emmanuel Macron has personally watched French army leaders play out a four-day sequence in which an unnamed space power attacks an allied country with France and attempts to disable a French communications satellite.
Germany, Italy and the United States are participating in the AsterX space war game at the French national space agency CNES in Toulouse, the first such exercise in France or Europe.
This is the ability to simulate changing the trajectory of satellites, sending backup satellites for troubleshooting, monitoring the transfer of confidential data and encrypting transmissions from hostile satellites temporarily or even completely shutting them down.
Before the start of the exercise, Macron chaired a meeting of the Space Command, a body created in 2017 to implement France’s military strategy in space. The French president’s office said the scenario for the exercise may be fictional, but far from implausible.
The French government has previously accused Russia of bringing its Olymp-K reconnaissance satellite, also known as Louch, closer to the French-Italian military satellite Athena-Fidus in 2017, in what Defense Minister Florence Parley called an “act of espionage.” The US said last year that Russia had conducted a non-destructive test of anti-satellite weapons from space. France believes that this is not a single such incident, there were others, but no details were provided.