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The Cost of Non Europe in the Field of Satellite Based Systems


In recent years the European Union has become increasingly aware of its security and defence environment as it has taken on a growing international profile such as in relation to negotiations with Iran or in regional crisis management operations from the Balkans, Indonesia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to the EU's landmark 2003 European Security Strategy these challenges are described as diverse in their form and in their objective, ranging from classical military hotspots to less conventional security threats targeting our societies. It is therefore to be expected that the EU and its Member States will want access to the full range of capabilities, including space-based capabilities, to successfully carry out its security and defence roles. Space technologies have evolved to become central enabling assets in modern defence and security systems. Space based assets use a “neutral” environment, i.e. outer space, to locate sensors or communication devices. In turn, space-based systems provide unique capabilities at all levels of the so-called “information chain”. Such systems provide unique capabilities for data acquisition worldwide, for long-range transmission and for focused dissemination of the information to users on the ground. Space applications can also be used for “security” in the broadest sense. For instance, at the EU level initiatives are being developed to respond to new security requirements, whether it concerns the constant monitoring of our planet or tackling more immediate threats such as terrorism or responding to vulnerable critical infrastructures in Europe and its neighbourhood. Space assets can also help monitor suspect industrial installations in the context of verification and disarmament activities. In such cases, both civil and military planners need access to information from space-based systems. Responding to natural and man-made crises also requires a capability to exploit large flows of complex data for a range of civil and military actors. Helping to fill the security requirement gap requires, an all-inclusive European security architecture that integrates both civil and military systems, and space-based and non-space based technologies.

Studio preparato dalla Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS) e dall'Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) per conto della sottocommissione sulla sicurezza e la difesa del Parlamento europeo.

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