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Department of Defense updates space policy, aims to reduce cost and defend systems

NASHUA, N.H., 27 Nov. 2012. Skyler Frink discusses the Department of Defense's new space policy in this week's Military & Aerospace Electronics Report. For the full text of the policy update visit the links below the transcript.


This is the Military & Aerospace Electronics Report, I'm Skyler Frink.

The U.S. Department of Defense has updated its space policy, aiming at reducing costs and decreasing the risk of attack on space assets. The update reflects on the current budget climate by aiming to keep systems operational and reduce costs by having increased cooperation with allies.

The policy has a focus on reducing the cost of space systems for the DOD. One way the DOD is hoping to do this is by allowing defense contractors to compete fairly for international contracts. The DOD released a report in April in an attempt to get Congress to move communications and certain remote-sensing satellites off the U.S. Munitions list and into commercial enterprise. This would allow contractors to sell these systems to international customers, freeing them from reliance on the U.S. Government for business.

The policy also increases security while decreasing cost by expanding international cooperation in space. This decreases cost by allowing multiple nations to rely on one system, rather than forcing each one to build their own system. Security is also increased by causing an attack on these systems to be an offensive move against more than just just one country.

In addition to cooperation, the policy aims to deter attacks against space systems by declaring how the United States will view interference with its space systems. An attack against U.S. Space systems will be seen as an infringement of U.S. rights, and will be irresponsible in peacetime and, during a crisis it could be escalatory.

For the Military & Aerospace Electronics Report, I'm Skyler Frink.

The updated space policy can be found as a pdf here, or as a google document here.

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