Going on Defense In Space

Just because the Department of Defense will be hard up for cash in the coming years doesn’t mean that the Air Force can just throw up the best deals into orbit, according to Gen. William Shelton, head of Air Force Space Command. Instead, the service has to find ways to harden and increase the survivability of its space assets in light of technological advances that present new threats to them, he said last week at AFA’s Global Warfare Symposium in Los Angeles. “There are signs on the horizon that certain nations will continue to develop offensive capabilities in space,” said Shelton in his symposium address. “That’s why resiliency is so important.” Because it “is almost physically impossible” to mount an active defense in space due to the vastness of space, “we’re going to have to find ways to be more resilient in a passive way,” he said. Accordingly, the Air Force should focus on making on-orbit capabilities more survivable, more flexible, and smaller, he said during his Nov. 17 speech.