Friday, December 31, 2004

French admit Galileo is military

According to DefenseNews, French defence minister Michèle Alliot-Marie has confirmed that the EU's Galileo satellite navigation system will be available for French military use.

Alliot-Marie, who has been remarkably candid about French military ambitions, was speaking at the launch of the French Helios 2A military reconnaissance satellite on 18 December.

This was only one week after EU member state transport ministers at the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council meeting in Brussels on 9-10 December had reiterated in their written conclusions that "Galileo is a civil program under civil control."

This is the same language they have been using since the Galileo programme was launched in March 2002, and is now shown for the naked lie that it is and always was.

This is further confirmed by Andrew Brookes, an aerospace analyst at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, who on 22 December said that, "One of the justifications for Galileo is that it will allow any new Euro defence force to have access to the same space assistance as is provided to U.S. forces by GPS." He was referring to the U.S. Global Positioning System used by civilians and military personnel worldwide.

Brookes said Galileo could be used for pinpointing the location of weapons and troops on the ground.

This will come as absolutely no surprise to regular readers of this Blog, and the various links to the subject can be followed from this link.

Whatever views one might have about the EU developing its own separate defence identity, together with its own, independent space capability available for military use, what really is unacceptable is the deceit surrounding this project.

Another example comes in a recently issued EU commission publication on the EU research effort, called "Looking beyond tomorrow – Scientific research in the European Union" which extols the virtues of the Galileo system, describing how it can be applied to "a vast range of civilian activities…".

But it add that it will also "play a role in security operations such as humanitarian aid, evacuation of refugees, peacekeeping and crisis resolution", which implies military usage without actually admitting it.

Interestingly, in a classic example of the chutzpah for which the EU is famous, the pamphlet uses a photograph to illustrate one Galileo application, with the caption: "Fire-fighting planes are guided to the heart of the blaze by satellite navigation".

The picture shows a Canadian-built Canadair CL-415 amphibian and, given that Galileo constellation is not yet up and flying, if it is guided by satellite, it must be using the American GPS system.

So much for scientific research in the European Union.

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