A study commissioned by the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC) has identified factors shaping the implementation of the Defence Space Strategy to 2030.
The Defence Space Strategy was published on 1 February 2022. It sets out the UK Government's ambition to be a meaningful actor in space and details how it will operationalise this key domain by working closely with allies and partners to keep space safe, secure and sustainable. techUK provided a summary of the strategy which can be viewed here and touches on the significant increase in Government funding for the UK space sector following the announcement of 1.4 billion in addition to the 5 billion already committed to the next generation of Skynet military satellite communications.
The study commissioned by the DCDC analyses strategic, policy and capability choices facing the implementation of the strategy. The three core research objectives of the study, conducted in 2021, were:
- Map out the key factors shaping implementation of the Defence Space Strategy
- Identify and articulate key elements of UK Defence's "value proposition" in the space domain
- Design a high-level decision support tool to navigate capability management decisions around the own-collaborate-access framework outlined in the Integrated Review and the associated Defence and Security Industrial Strategy (DSIS)
The key findings of the study include:
- MOD needs to be ambitious and needs to build space literacy in the UK
- Defence is likely to be a market taker rather than market maker in many areas, given the dual-use nature of space technology
- equally, this brings opportunities (innovation for example.) in a domain less encumbered by legacy choices, platforms or structures
- there is a window of opportunity for UK Defence to do things differently in space (for example around multi-domain integration, acquisition or ties with industry)
- there is a need for prioritisation around own-collaborate-access choices; own where necessary, collaborate where possible, access where prudent
- to exploit new opportunities, UK Defence needs to appreciate and - crucially - communicate its evolving value proposition to different audiences including across-MOD and Whitehall, and with allies, industry, academia and the public
The full study can be found here.