The US is reportedly considering building a spy base on British soil with a view to probing “deep space” and safeguarding US and UK space assets from potential attacks by adversaries.
A US Space Force officer told Sky News (July 17), that the plan revolves around building three radar bases around the world, including one potentially in Scotland or alternatively in southern England.
The space-focused spy base in the UK could be fully operational as early as 2025.
Appropriately called the Deep Space Advanced Radar Capability (DARC), the proposed spy base will utilize radar technology which can potentially identify an object the size of a football up to 36,000 kilometers away.
In trying to justify the development of this capability, Lieutenant Colonel Jack Walker of the US Space Force, said: “It [the spy base] is necessary because we want to keep the chain-of-custody of targets that could threaten our systems that are in geosynchronous orbit”.
“It could be satellites or it could just be debris from rocket bodies from other launches”, Lieutenant Colonel Walker told Sky News.
The disclosure about a significant upgrade to the US intelligence presence in the UK coincides with the Defense Secretary, Ben Wallace’s, trip to America where he paid a visit to the US Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles, California.
Wallace, who is on a week-long trip to the US, is being accompanied by two British military chiefs, including the commander of the Royal Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston.
“I would say that we need to prepare for the potential to defend our critical infrastructure in space”, the RAF commander told Sky News.
“Right now, there are countries like Russia and China that are doing things, developing systems that are … a threat to satellites that we rely on in our day-to-day lives”, he added.
For his part, the Defense Secretary said he doesn’t think there would be a “standalone war in space”.
"It wouldn't be like Star Wars or Moonraker with lasers firing all over the place… I suspect in a major conflict, space assets would be targeted. So we have to invest and prepare today to make sure we have alternatives", Wallace added.