Highlights

NATO: North Atlantic Treaty organisation (North Atlantic Alliance) is to setup a new Space Centre in the air force high command base in Germany’s Ramstein. The centre is to serve as a co-ordination Centre for space observation.

30 NATO members Countries, Defense Ministers to announced the plan of building a new space center.

NATO New Space Centre will gather information about possible threats to satellites. The Space centre is to be developed into a command centre of defensive measures in near future. NATO centre is being setup based on Article 5 of the NATO.

Article 5 of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

Article 5 from the NATO empowers the organisation to take collective defence action. It provides criteria under which North Atlantic Treaty Organisation can take defensive measures.

The Article 5 has been invoked by NATO in situations such as Syrian civil war 2011, Russo-Ukrainian War 2014 and 26/11 attack on United States of America.

NATO Article 5 says that an armed attack against one or more of the NATO countries in North America or Europe is considered as an attack against all of them. Under this scenario based on Article 51 of the UN, article 5 can be invoked. Article 51 of the charter of UN says that a member has right to act in self-defence and shall assist parties so attacked by taking forthwith. Article 5 also allows the member countries to use armed forces in such situations. However, this shall be carried on only on the interest of restoring and maintaining security of North Atlantic area.

Kester satellite ground station

NATO countries control more than 24 satellite ground stations. Kester satellite ground station located in Belgium is currently considered to be the central to space communication among NATO countries. Likewise, there are 4 other stations that play the role of Central hub.

There are 2000 satellites orbiting the earth but half of them are operated by the NATO members. Therefore, it becomes essential for the NATO member countries to safeguard their space resources.

Importance

This is being done as a countermeasure to aggressive behaviour of People’s Republic of China and Russian Federation. These countries are developing anti-satellite systems that could disable blind or should down satellites and create dangerous debris in the orbit. North Atlantic Treaty organisation countries are creating the 5th domain after land, sea, air and cyberspace.

NATO for India

India yet not a member of NATO. The process of joining the North Atlantic Treaty organisation is governed by article 10 of the NATO. According to the article 10 the countries become eligible to join the NATO only if they have signed agreements such as 

  • Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) for Geospatial Cooperation,
  • Logistics Support Agreement (LSA)
  • Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA).

Government of India formally announced, During India-US 2+2 dialogue India will be sign BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement) that is to be held by the end of October 2020.

During 2+2 dialogue India will also buy UAV is Predator-B.

NATO new Space Centre in Germany NATO new Space Centre in Germany