French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday announced the creation of a new space force command that will eventually become part of France’s air force, AFP reported. Macron told military personnel gathered for a pre-Bastille Day celebration in Paris that the new space force will be created in September and aims to “ensure the development and reinforcement of our spacial abilities”.

Macron claimed that the military focus on space was a “true national security issue”and said it would go to “better protecting our satellites”. Macron said that on creation of the space force, the air force will become the Space and Air Force, Reuters reported. However, he added that the funds required for the space military force are yet to be decided.

French Defence Minister Florence Parly said last year that she was committed to giving the country “strategic space autonomy” as the race for militarisation of space intensifies.

France has allocated €3.6 billion (Rs 27,859 crore) for defence in space between 2019 and 2025. This includes the renewal of the CSO observation and Syracuse communication satellites, launch of three CERES electromagnetic-monitoring satellites, and the modernisation of a spatial radar surveillance system called GRAVES.

United States President Donald Trump had in December last year signed an order to create an American space command. Trump said a more “comprehensive list of authorities and responsibilities” for the new “unified combatant command” will be released soon.