Australia is thinking of launching military satellites into space to observe military movement in the Asia-Pacific. Australian Defence Force is considering this bold initiative.
The Turnbull Government released the defence white paper last week that clearly states their motive to engage in space intelligence. The paper contained plans for unmanned surveillance, intelligence and aerial reconnaissance, says The Huffington Post.
Australia is ready to use money on enhanced satellite imagery capability, space awareness systems and radars. The naval communications station will carry a US space surveillance telescope as well.
According to a Defence Force official, they were in view of using one or more Australian owned and operated satellites.
“Satellites are used to get a clearer picture on the ground in our region,” the official said.
“They can be used to monitor the development of military facilities, the movement of equipment and weapons programs.”
A series of studies would be conducted to evaluate the entirety of the matter to assist and enhance Australia’s satellite capabilities, says the Defence Force official.
James Brown, defence expert and adjunct associate professor at the US Studies Centre, speaks positively about the perks it would provide.
However, it would be quite costly to launch a fully implemented and complete satellite into space.
“This would be a tangible contribution to our relationship with the US,” said Brown, who is also a former cavalry officer.
“We have let the US shoulder the burden of reconnaissance satellites.”
He also said that this move would provide more independence and flexibility on the grounds of foreign policy. This initiative would help Australia to monitor bushfires and other natural disasters, says Brown.
US launched a satellite into space, which was paid for by Australia, in 2013. Though the money was provided by Canberra, the hardware is still a property of the US, says The Sydney Morning Herald.
At present, Australia is dependent on US satellites and commercial operators for information related to military movements.