Russian anti-satellite weapons testing

  • Joint statement with:
  • The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Defence
17 November 2021

On 15 November 2021 the Russian Defence Ministry conducted a destructive test of an anti-satellite weapon. This test created over 1500 pieces of long-lived debris in space that now threaten numerous satellites and the International Space Station.

Minister for Defence, the Hon Peter Dutton MP said that the test was a provocative and dangerous act that demonstrated the threats to space systems are real, serious and growing.

“The world increasingly relies on space for security, public safety, communications and commerce,” Minister Dutton said. 

“This test by Russia, combined with other recent counter-space weapons testing, calls into question Russia’s sincerity in promoting security in space.”

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne said Australia was committed to working with all nations on the challenges and initiatives to ensure the long-term sustainability, safety and security of the space domain.  

“Russia’s actions are not those of a nation committed to ensuring the peaceful use of space nor the prevention of an arms race in outer space,” Minister Payne said.  

Australia continues to work in close partnership with Canada, Germany, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as other space faring nations to advance the development of international norms and responsible behaviour in space. 

Australia welcomes the United Nations adoption of the resolution on ‘Reducing space threats through norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviours’.

Media enquiries

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