Affordable space – How can Defence achieve affordable access to space? How can we harness advances in the commercial sector and maximise our use of space based services? How do we improve our situation awareness of space? Where are the opportunities to reduce the size, weight and power of space based capabilities?


Defence spends around £8 billion annually on the provision of equipment and technological solutions for our Armed Forces. The cost of delivering and maintaining these platforms grows with technical complexity. For military platforms and weapons systems, there are significant technical challenges in driving down the cost of integration and ownership; integrating these systems into a networked environment; addressing a range of difficult targets; and providing the ability to defeat targets under highly constrained rules of engagement. This will drive the need for increased stand-off ranges of our platform and weapons systems which will require developments in our propulsion and airframe designs.

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Related UKRI funded projects

  • Turning Fylingdales inside out: making practice visible at the UK's ballistic missile early warning and space monitoring station.l

    RAF Fylingdales is the UK's ballistic missile early warning and space monitoring station. It is part of the UK/US nuclear deterrent, watching space for signs of missile activity, and it also monitors a swathe of northern...

    Funded by: AHRC

    Lead research organisation: Newcastle University

    Why might this be relevant?

    The project partially answers the question by providing information about space monitoring and the functions of RAF Fylingdales, but it does not directly address the question of achieving affordable access to space or reducing the size, weight, and power of space-based capabilities. The authors have the necessary expertise to competently answer the question.

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