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Committee publishes Government response to Defence Space report

16 January 2023

The Defence Committee publishes the Government response to its report “Defence Space: through adversity to the stars?”.

In its report, the Committee describes “the UK’s expulsion from the EU’s Galileo programme” as “deeply unsatisfactory” and a demonstration of “a failure of statecraft on all sides”.

The Government’s response today acknowledges “the committee’s frustrations with the European Commission’s decision on Galileo”, stating that “the EU made clear that the UK would be unable to influence the future shape of the security architecture and only be afforded the restricted access provided to third parties, and that UK businesses were unable to bid for or deliver the majority of contracts under Galileo.”

The Government responds to the Committee’s concern at the “complacent attitude towards PNT within Government, and... the seemingly low priority which the Ministry of Defence (MOD) attaches to this work”.

The MOD responds that “PNT is a high priority for defence” and states that “BEIS recently created a small PNT project team to… build on the existing evidence base and significant work already undertaken within Government on PNT.”

The MOD describes efforts to “enhance our PNT resilience” through a “‘System of Systems’ approach to providing PNT data for Defence”. “Defence funds both the Robust Global Navigation System (RGNS), and the Alternative Navigation programme (AltNav) as major equipment programmes, as well as a programme of scientific research and development into emerging PNT technologies through Dstl.”

The Government responds to other recommendations in the Committee’s report, including calls for an update on Skynet and to address the space skills shortage.

Further information

Image: MoD