Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt has outlined the Ministry of Defence’s ambitious space programme, committing £30 million to fast-track the launch of a small satellite demonstrator within a year.
Supported by a new transatlantic team of UK and US defence personnel, named Team ARTEMIS, the small satellite demonstrator will sit alongside a host of other programmes that will demonstrate the UK’s leading future role in space.
In doing so, the UK will become the first partner nation to join Operation Olympic Defender, a US-led international coalition formed to strengthen deterrence against hostile actors and seconding a RAF test pilot to Virgin Orbit’s small satellite programme.
Mordaunt said: “Today we show the sky is no longer the limit for our Armed Forces with a multi-million-pound investment in the launch of a small satellite demonstrator, supported by a new transatlantic team of defence personnel.
“In the face of evolving threats from hostile actors in space, we are acting more closely than ever with our international allies through Five Eyes, NATO and now Operation Olympic Defender. Faced with the evolving threats posed by grey-zone warfare, our transformed Strategic Command will provide the structure and coordination our Armed Forces need across all five domains.”