Fri. Sep 29th, 2023
Space Force Finalizing Blueprint for Integrating Commercial Satellite Services

The Chief of Space Operations, Gen. Chance Saltzman, has announced that the U.S. Space Force is in the process of finalizing a blueprint for integrating commercial satellite services into military activities. This initiative aims to enhance the relationship with commercial partners and take advantage of the competitive advantages offered by the commercial space industry.

The new commercial space strategy, which is set to be released soon, will provide guidance to the Space Force in achieving a competitive edge through commercial augmentation. Saltzman highlighted the need for specific guidance on emerging space industry services, such as rapid-revisit satellite imaging and low-Earth orbit satellite communications, which have only become available in recent years.

Saltzman emphasized that the current period is a “true golden era for commercial space,” with rapid expansion, innovation, and competition in the industry. The Space Force aims to harness the speed and innovation offered by commercial partners to gain a strategic advantage.

The strategy will clarify the role of commercial providers and outline how their capabilities can be integrated into military operations. Saltzman explained that terms of reference will be created to help industry partners address the integration of commercial space capabilities. The goal is to bring clarity to the industry and enable global support and augmentation of military and inherently governmental activities from the space domain.

Space plays a critical role in modern warfare, as highlighted by the conflict in Ukraine. Commercial augmentation, particularly in satellite-based surveillance, has proven its value in supplementing classified data and promoting shareability. Saltzman stressed the importance of a fundamental conversation between Space Force buyers and contractors to define key terms and concepts related to commercial space.

In terms of satellite protection during conflicts, the Space Force plans to collaborate with military allies and private companies to ensure collective security through data sharing. Saltzman emphasized the need to increase collaboration with the commercial space industry to enable new capabilities that support integrated deterrence and interoperability between allies and industry partners.

The forthcoming commercial space strategy is expected to provide a roadmap for integrating commercial satellite services effectively and leveraging the innovation and competition within the commercial space industry for military advantage.