Defence Procurement Minister announces Defence Space plan

The UK’s Defence Procurement Minister has set out a Defence Space Strategy to make the UK a ‘significant space player’ as tensions grow on Ukraine’s border

The UK’s Defence Space Strategy has set out its plan for the UK to become more resilient and robust, as well as being a more significant space player on the world stage. With the situation at Ukraine’s border becoming more increasingly strained, it’s a popular time to discuss defence. 

“Above all, as I speak, the Defence Secretary is meeting NATO partners, discussing the truly concerning situation on Ukraine’s borders – the most serious threat of a major war on our continent since the fall of the Berlin Wall,” said Jeremy Quin MP, Ministry of Defence. 

Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) famously said he didn’t know what weapons World War Three would be fought with, but that in the following World War, soldiers would have only sticks left to fight with. Despite high tension, Quin insists that a war is not certain.  

“We are continuing to progress the positive future for Defence to ensure we can meet the threats of the future with the most modern, integrated, technologically advanced forces reaching out through every domain,” said Quin. 

UK’s Defence Procurement plan to defend Ukraine’s border and invest in space technology

Last April, a joint UK Space Command was established to:

  • Conduct day-to-day space operations
  • Deliver leading-edge capabilities 
  • Generate the Force structure needed

Quin is clear that defence is integral to this ambition and he’s been investing to deliver. 

“In addition to the £5bn over 10 years already allocated to our future Skynet Satellite communications, a further £1.4bn has been allocated to support defence operations over the next decade,” said Quin. “£970mn will go into our new ISTARI programme. This puts in place the foundations of a next-generation constellation of ISR in Low Earth Orbit. They will be fitted with a variety of sensors which can ‘see’ across multiple aspects of the spectrum – allowing for 24/7 observation capabilities whatever the weather.”

Quin’s Defence team are also investing £61mn in a programme called TITANIA, which will experiment with optical laser communication technology. This will enable the transfer of data in, to and from Space at an equivalent capacity to high-speed broadband.

“Our ambitions don’t end there and are not capped at £1.4bn. So today I am delighted to announce we’re going to invest a further £127mn over the next four years in Minerva. This project emerged from a Dragon’s Den style process. Testing the great ideas that come through from the Defence Innovation Unit (DIU).”

Innovation in procurement and defence 

Quin maintains that these investments are about security - and prosperity. The UK Government has already helped create a growing UK space sector, worth more than £16.4bn per year, which employs more than 45,000 people, from research to manufacturing. 

“The funding I’ve announced today represents a significant boost for the UK space industry and will play a key part in stimulating wider innovation, commercialisation, and growth. It’s a huge pleasure to be here today on the next step in our execution of the Integrated Review, the Defence Command Paper and Defence and Security Industrial Strategy,” said Quin. “However the British people know that what they can always expect from UK Defence is calm, determined, delivery.”


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