Top RAF boss reckons Star Wars will become reality with battles fought in space

Britain must prepare to fight future wars in space, according to the head of the RAF.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston has spoken on the need to defend the UK's satellites from interference which would have a "disastrous" effect on Brits' daily lives.

An attack on our satellites would disable ATMs and petrol pumps, cause traffic gridlock and freeze deliveries of vital PPE kit to tackle coronavirus, Sir Wigston said.

Rolling out a future vaccine also relies on assets in space, he said, admitting he made no apologies for "painting a grim picture".

Speaking at the virtual Defence Space Conference, Sir Wigston called out Russia and China for developing anti-satellite weapons.

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He said: "A future conflict may not start in space, but I am in no doubt it will transition very quickly to space, and it may even be won or lost in space.

"So we have to be ready to protect and if necessary defend our critical national interests in space.

"If we don't think and prepare today, we won't be ready when the time comes."

He said the UK's access to space was fundamental to national security and "our way of life" which he claims normal citizens do not realise.

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"Space is critical to the day to day life of every citizen of the UK," Sir Wigston continued.

"Without space there would be no bank transactions, no cash out of an ATM, no petrol in the pumps, traffic gridlock, a malfunctioning national grid to list just a few examples.

"In the context of COVID 19, around 15 million items of NHS PPE are delivered every day and the delivery of these vital items are dependent upon space, as will be the immense logistics effort supporting a future vaccine."

The UK must be "prepared to fight to defend those interests if it came to it", he added.

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Russia and China had multiple space weapons that had either been deployed or were being built and testing of which threatened the peace, the air chief marshal argued.

Debris caused by testing and could potentially leave parts of space completely unusable, he said.

In 2007 China destroyed a weather satellite, creating more than 3000 pieces of debris.

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