NATO leaders meet near Watford to repair the cracks in alliance and to discuss space threats

by | Dec 4, 2019 | Military space, Seradata News

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) celebrates its 70th year since its founding as a bulwark to the then threat of the Soviet Union and its allies. Nevertheless, as its leaders meet near Watford, England, there were cracks in the alliance. The most serious of these was what to do about Turkey. Its military actions against its Kurdish opponents in Syria (who were actually allies of NATO in the war against ISIL) and its purchase of a Russian S-300 air defence missile system has caused consternation in the alliance, with many wondering if this renegade nation should be evicted from NATO altogether.  Nevertheless, the defence of NATO’s southern flank against an increasingly belligerent Russia, threats from Iran, Islamic terrorism, and due to China’s increasing involvement in the Middle East, means that Turkey will be allowed to stay for now.

NATO logo

The other on-going sore within NATO is the question of just how committed European nations are to their own defence. While his fellow NATO leaders apparently make fun of him behind his back, US President Donald Trump has a strong case to make when he demands that all NATO nations should make a proper contribution via their agreed minimum national spend of 2 per cent of GDP on defence.  And this funding is needed because there are new threats that were never envisaged when NATO was set up in 1949.  One of these is Space.

NATO knows that its Achilles heal may be space given that so many of its weapon systems now rely on GPS and its equivalent navigation constellations for navigation and guidance.  Communications and Earth Observation satellites face similar threats from both cyber warfare, missile interception, and even “killer” satellites, whether by beam weaponry, mechanical destruction by robot arm, or explosive charge.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles

NATO extends protection to space

A summit held in Brussels on 14 June has extended NATO’s overarching prerogative to the domain of space, which means Read more

SpaceX launches second Starlink mission of the year, 13 days after the first

SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 49 Starlink satellites from Kennedy Space Centre, Florida, USA. The flight lifted-off Read more

SpaceX launches first planned Transporter rideshare mission of 2022 carrying over 100 satellites

The SpaceX Transporter-3 rideshare mission launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 1525 GMT, 13 January carrying over 100 satellites. The Read more

Russian cosmonauts make spacewalk to work on Prichal module…as all the usual ISS activity goes on

Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov, current commander of Expedition 66, and Peytr Dubrov, made a spacewalk from the International Space Station Read more

ESA confirms that Sentinel 1B’s radar is still knocked out by power issue

Sentinel-1B, a key Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite of the ESA/EU Copernicus Earth observation and monitoring programme, has failed in Read more

Intelsat orders two further software-defined GEO sats, but this time from Thales

Intelsat has ordered two geostationary (GEO) satellites with new "software-defined payloads" from Thales Alenia Space (TAS). The contract announced on Read more

Tianzhou-2 freighter is remotely undocked and redocked with Chinese Space Station

Taikonauts (Chinese astronauts) aboard the Chinese Space Station (CSS) conducted a manual remote undocking involving the unberthing from the forward Read more

SpaceX kicks off 2022 with a Starlink launch from Florida

SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket at 2149 GMT on 6 January 2022 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, Read more