NATO's Strategic Warfare Development Command

One More Step for NATO’s Space Centre of Excellence

January 20, 2023


The signing ceremony for Operational Memorandum of Understanding of the Space Centre of Excellence recently took place at the French Ministry of Defence in Paris, France.

This event is both the commencement of the NATO Space Centre of Excellence’s NATO accreditation request and the culmination of a joint effort led by 15 sponsoring nations, NATO representatives, and the French Establishment Team. The incoming birth of this new actor in NATO’s wider framework is an essential milestone in the approach of NATO and the sponsoring nations to Space.

The Operational Memorandum of Understanding is an agreement between the 15 nations who are establishing the Centre of Excellence; this first step will precede the signing of the Functional Memorandum of Understanding between the nations and NATO’s Allied Command Transformation, officially setting the Centre of Excellence as a NATO-accredited centre and full member of the NATO Centres of Excellence community.

The NATO Space Centre of Excellence will be the catalyst for the comprehension, improvement, and transformation of Space Power by delivering effective and efficient solutions and providing relevant expertise to the benefit of NATO and its Allies. The Centre will provide knowledge, analysis, and products covering the three operational functions – Space Domain Awareness, Operational Space Support, and Space Domain Coordination – while stimulating Space expertise sharing and interoperability, and will constitute a bridge between NATO and all relevant national and international Space organizations from Defence, Civil, Industry, Academia, and Research sectors.

The NATO Space Centre of Excellence will focus on key roles of NATO pertaining to Space; a dedicated hub for the development and management of collective shared knowledge, Lessons Learned and military expertise on Space-related topics. It will also provide Space expertise, and contribute to the Lessons Identified/Lessons Learned process related to measures undertaken by nations in Space defence-related situations. Acting in consultation with NATO as an autonomous incubator for the Space Domain, the Centre will provide a unique expertise on combined joint activities in Space and be an open venue to collaborate for NATO Allies and Partners by developing, accumulating, and harmonizing knowledge, and creating and disseminating products.

Consistent with the Overarching Space Policy, the Centre will support NATO’s deepening and expanding use of the space domain, securing access to space services, products, and capabilities that are essential for the conduct of the Alliance’s operations, missions, and activities.

The Centre will be located in Toulouse, France. At the heart of a valuable Space ecosystem, the NATO Space Centre of Excellence will be able to take advantage of worldwide Space resources and expertise to monitor the latest trends, detect technological breakthroughs, assess their consequences, and leverage their benefits for NATO Allies and Partners.