Leicester contribution to major Parliamentary report

A leading expert in space warfare based at the University of Leicester has contributed to a new Parliamentary report on defence of the UK’s assets in space.

Dr Bleddyn Bowen, from the School of History, Politics and International Relations, was an external expert reviewer and interviewee for the UK Parliament’s POSTnote on ‘Defence of space-based assets’, which also cites many items of his research.

Dr Bowen said: “This POSTnote will serve Parliamentarians as well as the wider public well in informing and educating readers as to the important aspects of defence and military matters in outer space, which is not just a concern for the United States, Russia, and China – but all countries.

“It is also a timely primer as the UK Government continues its work on UK space policies through the release of the National Space Strategy in September 2021, and the forthcoming Defence Space Strategy.

“As well as reviewing the document, my research-informed publications and public engagement activities were instrumental in demonstrating the importance of space to the UK economy, infrastructure, and security; the importance of allies and partner countries in the development of UK space technologies and industry; outlining major military applications of space systems; and the political sensitivities of various kinds of anti-satellite technologies and operations, such as radio jamming and missile systems.”

Dr Bowen is an internationally-renowned researcher with expertise in space warfare, space policy and international relations in outer space, and has previously advised the Prime Minister’s policy unit by contributing to high profile research like the UK Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Foreign Policy and Development.

He also appeared before the House of Commons’ Defence Select Committee in 2020, and addressed the NATO Engages Summit London in 2019 as the military alliance recognised space as an ‘operational domain’.

This new POSTnote highlights key points around the UK’s use of satellites – and of its reliance on many US-operated space assets – as well as strategies to help mitigate damage or disruption to satellite services through accidental (space debris) or intentional action.

The UK’s new National Space Strategy was published earlier this week, with an approach formed with input from space scientists and experts based at the University of Leicester and Space Park Leicester.

Find out more about Leicester’s major role in supporting the UK space sector and explore more of Dr Bowen’s work.