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National space strategy and security to be debated at the 4th Milsatcom Middle East conference in Abu Dhabi this month

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 4 February, 2015: Military and industry leaders from the global space and defence industries will come together in Abu Dhabi this month, to discuss the key issues affecting national space strategy, security and infrastructure at the inaugural Middle East Military Space Symposium.

Taking place on 26 February as part of the 4th Milsatcom Middle East Conference, the Symposium will explore the role of modern militaries in securing the space domain, and address other strategic issues such as the importance of a UAE national space security policy, industry governance and space exploration.

Securing national space assets and infrastructure is a significant concern for international military forces today. In the UAE, securing vital national infrastructure including communication networks, banking, space-enabled navigation and ground based infrastructure is imperative to the nation’s sovereignty and military capabilities.

The event, hosted at the Ritz Carlton Grand Canal in Abu Dhabi, will explore the role of modern militaries in securing the space domain, and address other strategic issues such as the importance of a UAE national space security policy, industry governance and space exploration.

A host of high profile speakers have already been confirmed representing the UAE Space Agency; Royal Airforce, UK; Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, USA; and Secure World Foundation.

"All of us with rigorous military training in our backgrounds will need to recognize that the future of security in space will be increasingly complex and multilateral,” commented Dr. Michael K. Simpson, Executive Director, Secure World Foundation. “The industry should strive to create comprehensive security strategies in line with robust industry standards. The Middle East Military Space Symposium, as part of Milsatcom Middle East, is the perfect platform to discuss this matter and shape industry best practice.”

“Space has proven to be critical to defence operations, especially when dealing with advanced adversaries, denied regions and challenging time constraints,” added Mark Valerio, Vice President, General Manager, Military Space Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “Capabilities based on military requirements appropriately tailored to regional demands and budgets are available in protected communications, early warning, and augmented navigation."

A particular focus topic of the Symposium will be the importance of cross-industry and international collaboration in achieving effective Space Situational Awareness (SSA) – the understanding of activities into, through and from space.

The session, led by the UK’s Royal Airforce, will explore current military, civil and commercial collaborations for increasing SSA and the requirement for space traffic management to assure future access to space for all nations.

"SSA is the foundation of all space related operations. Without it there is no space security,” commented Sqr Ldr Ralph Dinsley from Royal Airforce, UK. “ Developing real SSA is an extremely expensive task requiring the accumulation of a vast amount of experience and resources and is well beyond the capabilities of any one nation alone. Truly understanding the vulnerabilities and threats of space operations is a global undertaking which requires organizations to work closely together to ensure the future of assured access to space".

Milsatcom Middle East is an invitation-only briefing taking place on 24 and 25 February at the Ritz Carlton Grand Canal in Abu Dhabi. The event is organised by Streamline Marketing Group and sponsored by Yahsat, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Airbus Defence & Space and Thales among others.