President E. Macron presents the new French “offensive” space doctrine

During the press conference given on July 13 ahead of the National Day military parade, President Macron detailed the French space strategy for the years to come. This begins with the attachment of the Joint Space Command, or CIE, under the command of the Air Force, as the latter had requested. Suddenly, the Air Force became the “Air and Space Force”. This new architecture will not be without problems, since the 3 armies, as well as the DRM, had personnel belonging to the CIE, with specific approaches.

The second part, much more interesting, detailed by the president is the change in space doctrine for France. No more question now of remain a spectator when a satellite of another nation comes to threaten or lead the action of our own units. France will now be “offensive” in Space, as it has recently been in the cyber domain. Concretely, this involves developing systems to be able to counter, and therefore deter, a potential space adversary. We naturally think of ONERA's latest communication regarding its work on Adaptive Optics Lasers, capable of targeting a satellite even when the cloud layer is thick, to render its optics inoperative. It is likely that other, more radical solutions will also be developed now that France has officially adopted a new doctrine, such as microwave weapons, cyber attacks, high energy lasers, and, why not, weapons kinetic (missiles, rail gun). It will be up to the General Staff of the Air and Space Force to provide appropriate solutions to respond quickly.

ONERA Laser Defense News | Laser weapons and directed energy | ASAT
ONERA has developed laser systems with adaptive optics that are very suitable for anti-satellite combat.

It remains to be seen how these ambitions will really take shape, to the extent that the current LPM leaves very little room for maneuver to integrate new expenditure items. French manufacturers, such as Airbus DS, Thales and Dassault, are able to provide solutions likely to push France into the club of the most efficient military space nations, but these programs still need to be financed, with consistent deadlines. By creating the US Space Force, the Pentagon also allocated it an annual budget of $500 million over 5 years. If France did not do the same, with a sufficient and guaranteed multi-year budget, these announcements risk being limited to being just that... announcements, at least during the execution of the LPM, leading up to 2025.

One thing is certain, however; The perception of the need for investment in National Defense has recently begun to go beyond the purely domestic political framework to join that imposed by international geopolitical upheavals. It was time …

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