AUKUS: UK Joins US and Australia in Deep Space Surveillance Effort
The UK has partnered with the US and Australia under the AUKUS pact to establish a trio of high-power radars for deep space monitoring. This network will span across the UK, US, and Australia to enhance satellite protection and manage space traffic.
The system, known as the Deep Space Advanced Radar Capability (DARC), aims to track objects as far as 22,000 miles from Earth—well beyond the space station's orbit. Britain's radar installation is slated for a Welsh site with expected operational readiness by 2030, while Australia's is set to be functional by 2026.
The collaboration promises global coverage due to the strategic locations of the participating countries, heightening threat detection for both military and civilian space assets.
Located at Cawdor Barracks, the UK facility will take over the site of a relocating Army Signals Regiment, pending local and environmental approvals. The project could stimulate local economic growth by offering construction jobs and up to 100 long-term positions.
UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps emphasized the imperative of advanced capabilities in light of escalating space warfare risks. He affirmed that this radar network will empower the UK to identify and track space objects with precision.
The MoD highlights the superior sensitivity, accuracy, and tracking agility of these advanced radars compared to existing systems. The improvement promises around-the-clock operation in all weather conditions, benefiting various defense forces.