Australia to acquire ‘soft kill’ tech to disable satellites.

The head of the ADF’s Space Command has said Australia is looking to acquire “soft kill” technology to disable enemy satellites.

Speaking at AVALON, Air Vice Marshal Cath Roberts said, “I think it’s a really important part of where we’re going to is just looking at how we can have that electronic warfare capability to allow us to deter attacks, or certainly interfere.

“We are working on making sure that we’ve got a level of capability so that we can deter attacks on our satellites … through non-kinetic means so that we can have some impact.”

Soft kill capabilities usually refer to the ability to disable an enemy device without physically destroying it, something that could create more space junk.

It comes after the Australian government in October committed to an agreement to not test physical missiles against satellites in space.

Australia joins countries including the United States, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Germany and the Republic of Korea in making the commitement.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong last year emphasised the need for cooperation.

“The global community must work together to build a common understanding on rules and norms that can guide how states behave in outer space,” she said. “This commitment to responsible behaviour helps build a meaningful framework that contributes to the security, safety and sustainability of outer space.”


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