France undecided on US offer to join ‘Olympic Defender’ space effort | Space

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Gen. Philippe Adam, Commander of Space (CDE), joins Gen. Stephen Whiting, Commander of US Space Command (USSC), alongside representatives from other nations who have been invited to join Operation Olympic Defender. (French MoD)

PARIS — France remains undecided about an offer from US Space Command to take part in Operation Olympic Defender, the US-led initiative to strengthen defense and deter hostility in space — but says that if it does join up, it will not be turning over operational control of its military space capabilities to its US allies.

Gen. Philippe Adam, France’s Space Force commander, told media that France had been invited, together with Germany and New Zealand, to join the initiative. In parallel, the Ministry of the Armed Forces announced that “This invitation opens new operational perspectives and carries a message of strategic solidarity,” stressing that “France will maintain operational control over all its military space capabilities.”

While a spokesperson stressed that no decision had yet been made, the phrasing of the Ministry statement indicates it may be more a matter of when, not if, Paris signs up.

Olympic Defender is the US military’s operational plan for warfighting in space, first opened to allies in 2020, with Australia, Canada and the UK currently part of the effort.  Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of US Space Command, had…


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