NATO to set up space centre in Germany, chief Stoltenberg announces

Military alliance NATO will create a new space centre in Germany to counter threats by China and Russia, the organization’s secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday.

The space centre would be set up in Ramstein, a NATO-US airbase in south-western Germany close to the French border, he said.

“Some nations, including Russia and China, are developing systems which could blind, disable or shoot down satellites,” Stoltenberg said.

“Space is essential for our ability to navigate, communicate and detect missile launches. And fast, effective and secure satellite communications are vital for our troops.”

To this end, NATO defence ministers would decide during a meeting on Thursday to establish the new centre, he said. This would be used to share information about potential threats to satellites and to coordinate activities, he said.

“Our aim is not to militarize space, but to increase NATO’s awareness of challenges in space and our ability to deal with them,” Stoltenberg said.

The defence ministers are also expected to discuss training missions in Afghanistan and the Covid-19 pandemic.

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