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NATO Ally Contributions to the Space Domain

  • Published
  • China Aerospace Studies Institute

This paper discusses U.S. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally space capabilities. In November 2019, NATO recognized space as an operational domain, declaring it on par with the air, land, sea, and cyber domains. NATO’s designation of outer space as an operational domain is a recognition of the growing role of space in NATO operations. The increased commitment to space by NATO as a whole, and by U.S. NATO allies individually, provides more opportunities for the United States to draw upon the space capabilities of its NATO allies. As the leading NATO space power, the United States is viewed by its NATO allies as an indispensable partner in conducting and expanding space capabilities. Current emphasis by U.S. NATO allies appears to be on improving SDA but as capabilities grow, cooperation involving launch sites and on-orbit capabilities will likely increase. As a result, the emphasis U.S. NATO allies place on space operations presents multiple avenues for the U.S. and its NATO allies to increase and expand capabilities across a range of military space capabilities. 

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