Following the French President’s announcement of the creation of a French space force to protect its satellites, French defense officials have revealed a new cosmic self-defense program to build nanosatellites armed with lasers and guns.
This program to arm French satellites with guns will utilize €700 million from the country’s space exploration budget, with more than €4.3 billion to be spent by 2025.
Along with arming their nanosatellites with space guns and lasers, part of the budget will also be utilized to update its Syracuse military communication satellites used by the French navy.
In her announcement of the new defense program, the Defense Minister Florence Parly said that France is not interested in space wars. It just wants to invest in “reasonable arselalization.”
The program also includes building a network of nanosatellites equipped with cameras to keep an eye on potential low-orbit and geostationary adversaries. This ambition was made official in late 2018 and this year the French officials are building on their ambitions of adding weapons along with cameras. This can be achieved by arming nanosatellites with submachine guns capable of destroying enemy satellites’ solar panels or with lasers that can blind or destroy an enemy satellite.
Along with satellite with guns, the officials are also hopeful to create a swarm of satellite launchers able to launch, in a very short time, makeshift replacements of the satellites that are destroyed by enemies.
France will arm its satellites with space guns, is it legal?
France is one of the nations to sign the 1967 space treaty. The treaty allows the weaponization of space with the exception of placing weapons of mass destruction. In terms of space laws, France is legally allowed to arm its satellites with guns. However, they will be legally required that space operators from the National Center for Space Studies join army personnel to develop this capacity.
This news comes in just five months after US President Trump signed a directive to establish a new branch of the US military trained to handle adversaries in space.
France was quick to break America’s possible sovereignty in military operations with its own “control of space” program. Furthermore, France is inviting its European neighbors to join in on its efforts in celestial surveillance.