The new NATO space center’s main tasks will be to coordinate allied space activities, support the Alliance’s mission and operations from space, including through communications and satellite images, and protect the allies ‘ space systems by exchanging information about potential threats, said Alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
The creation of a new command center was announced by the Secretary-General of the Alliance on Thursday, October 22, after the first day of the two-day meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers.
“What happens in space is of great importance for what we can do on Earth – telecommunications, navigation, mobile phones, military communications, data transmission. Many activities on Earth – at sea and on land – depend on capabilities in space, not least from satellites,” Jens Stoltenberg said during a press briefing. – This is important for our civil society and, of course, for the military potential. So we need to make sure that we have safe and reliable systems in space.”
“We also make sure that NATO missions and operations are supported by space, including communications and satellite images. So when we are operating in Afghanistan or Kosovo, or we have a forward presence in the Baltic States, then, of course, these NATO operations – air patrols, naval missions-depend on information, images, and communications that are delivered from space vehicles,” he added.
According to the Secretary-General of the Alliance, the allies are concerned about the development of Russia and China, which, among other things, can blind or destroy satellites, which “will have a serious impact on both military and civilian activities of the allies on earth.”
The new NATO space command center will be located at Ramstein airbase in Germany. This will allow the Alliance members to build on existing knowledge and developments and gradually expand the new center, the Secretary-General of the Alliance said.
“This serious problem is getting bigger and more complex,” Jens Stoltenberg said. He added that the allies are adhering to a “comprehensive package of political and military response measures,” also strengthening their air and missile defense systems and strengthening their conventional weapons capabilities. In particular, the allies of the Alliance acquire the American patriot anti-aircraft missile system and fifth-generation fighters.
“We also ensure the safety, reliability, and effectiveness of our nuclear deterrent, including through annual nuclear deterrence exercises,” the Alliance Secretary-General added. “At the same time, NATO allies remain fully committed to arms control and disarmament.”
Jens Stoltenberg welcomed progress between Russia and the United States in reaching agreements to extend the strategic arms reduction Treaty (Start-3), which expires in February 2021.
“In recent days, we have seen progress in this direction, and this is welcome because we should not find ourselves in a situation where we do not have a Treaty regulating the number of nuclear weapons,” he said.
In addition to Russia’s space development, NATO allies are also concerned about the country’s growing nuclear arsenal, including new missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.