Minister for Defence Peter Dutton announced on 29 July the Australian Government has established Defence Project 9358 to explore options for the acquisition of a ground-based Space Electronic Warfare capability.
The 2020 Defence Strategic Update highlighted the critical importance to the ADF’s warfighting effectiveness of assured access to the space domain. A Space Electronic Warfare capability, as part of the ADF’s approach to space control, aims to detect and deter attempts to interfere with, or attack, Australia’s use of the space domain.
The 2020 Force Structure Plan called for the development of options to enhance ADF space control through capabilities to counter emerging space threats to Australia’s free use of the space domain. Defence will explore options for a Space Electronic Warfare capability and provide recommendations for a decision by the Government. This capability would help assure Australia’s continued access to space-based communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
The FSP allocates $7 billion to Australia’s space capabilities over the decade. The FSP identifies two separate projects which could be vehicles for this investment, Satellite Communications Assurance, worth $1.7-$2.5 billion, and Terrestrial Operations in Contested Space, worth $1.4-$2 billion.
Space Electronic Warfare is a capability that does not create debris or damage the space environment. Defence supports efforts to promote international norms, transparency and cooperation in upholding responsible behaviour in space.