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Enhancing NATO's Space Capabilities: Allied Command Transformation's Initiatives Overview

Allied Command Transformation (ACT), a crucial component of NATO's operational structure, has been actively spearheading initiatives to bolster the Alliance's understanding of the Space Domain.

August 31, 2023

The Main Goals

Through a series of strategic endeavors, ACT aims to foster interoperability among NATO and Allied space capabilities, propelling NATO's transformation into a Multi-Domain Operations-enabled Alliance.

At the heart of ACT's efforts lies the elevation of awareness regarding the critical importance of the Space Domain within the Alliance. Including potential threats and risks, ACT aims to underscore the pivotal role that space plays in NATO's missions. This initiative not only solidifies the Alliance's preparedness but also fortifies its capacity to address emerging challenges effectively.


Furthermore, ACT has been actively engaging with the space-focused industry and academia, forging vital partnerships that amplify NATO's engagement in this domain. The objective is to harness the expertise of various stakeholders and channel it into enhancing the interoperability of national space capabilities. By harmonizing these disparate capabilities, ACT envisions a seamless and integrated approach to utilizing space assets for operational and strategic goals.

A recent milestone in ACT's journey is the accreditation of the NATO Space Center of Excellence on July 14th, 2023. Located in Toulouse, France, this center stands as the Alliance's 29th Center of Excellence. With a focus on accelerating space-related endeavors, expanding the utilization of the Space Domain, and facilitating the integration of space within NATO's activities, missions, and operations, the Center emerges as a linchpin in realizing NATO's ambitions. It is poised to enhance 'Space IQ' across the Alliance, stimulate interoperability among space-related assets, and serve as a crucial conduit between NATO and various national and international space entities, including the commercial sector and academia.

Educational activities and competitions

In tandem with these efforts, ACT has taken an active role in key academic and industry forums, including the Munich Security Conference, the 38th Space Symposium, and the French Air and Space Academy. General Philippe Lavigne, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, highlighted the centrality of space in enabling Multi-Domain Operations, underscoring the imperative of continuous and secure access to space capabilities.

ACT's commitment to innovation is underscored by its leadership in the NATO Innovation Challenge. This challenge facilitated collaborative engagement between academia, industry, and start-ups to devise innovative solutions for monitoring the Arctic from space to seabed.

Crucially, ACT's emphasis on interoperability has been showcased through its participation in the 2023 Coalition Warrior Interoperability Exercise (CWIX). By testing software-based tools designed to enhance Space Domain Awareness, ACT is not only addressing operational gaps, but also ensuring that these tools seamlessly align with NATO and Allied systems. This commitment to interoperability is set to continue in CWIX 2024, where the focus will shift toward modeling more intricate space systems and testing advanced visualization tools.

Guided by the 2022 Space Policy, NATO sees space as vital for deterrence, defense, and civilian functions. Space supports areas like Situational Awareness, Navigation, Early Warning, Communications, and Surveillance. NATO incorporates space advantages into core tasks within the bounds of international law. Collaboration with partners like the EU and UN helps develop global space norms.

Author: Nessa, Cyber Journalist

Source: https://www.act.nato.int/article/acts-2023-space-activities-recap/

Photo: VALERIA MONGELLI/AFP via Getty Images

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