Nigeria’s Defence Space Administration (DSA) is set to launch two dedicated military satellites into space
Although a timeline for the launch of the satellites have not been announced, indications are that a big mileage to that effect would be achieved at the end of this year, as the country prepares to attain full operational status within the period with technical support from the United States of America.
This, as reported by Defense News Nigeria through its twitter handle, is aimed at boosting the country’s military prowess, especially in the face of the terrorism challenges confronting the country.
Hitherto known as the Defence Space Agency, the DSA was established in 2014, making the Nigerian Armed Forces the first military in Africa to have an independently dedicated Space programme. The DSA Act 2016 was enacted by the 8th National Assembly and signed into law on February 3, 2017.
Since 2018, personnel from the Nigerian Army, Navy and Airforce and civilian technicians have been undergoing extensive training on the use of geospatial, satellite image analysis, defence mapping among others at the facilities of Nigeria’s National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA).
Nigeria and the United States are the only two countries with a dedicated Space Defence Force.
In recognition of this, the US Secretary of Space Force, Barbara Barrett visited the Defence Space Administration in January, where she disclosed that the DSA will be equipped technologically through partnership with the US Space Force to enhance its capabilities
Barbara Barrett described Nigeria as the destination of choice in Africa for partnership in harnessing space assets through the instrumentality of science and technology in national defence.
Nigeria has been seeking other means of combating the current and emerging challenges of terrorism and banditry which has spread to every part of the country. From the deployment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the country’s government has moved on to the use of space technology as antidote to the security challenges it is facing.
Last year in June, the Minister of Defence Major General Bashir Salhi Magashi had stated that the Federal Government of Nigeria wants to acquire more space technologies to give the country’s Armed Forces competitive edge in the global arena.
This, he said is the reason the DSA has been placed on a federal budget line since 2015.