School of Computer and Infomation Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia
Air power has seen constant development from the Wright Flyer’s first flight at Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903 via the advent of the jet age with the service entry of the Messerschmitt Me 262 in 1942, to today’s multirole fighters (F-35 Joint Strike Fighter) and stealth aircraft (B-2 Spirit multi-role bomber). As a result of this evolution of one hundred years air power has emerged as a central component in power projection. As General William Mitchell said: ”Neither armies nor navies can exist unless the air is controlled over them.” (Mitchell 1925, xv)We have witnessed a corresponding development in space, albeit with a lag of nearly sixty years. The first satellite, the Sputnik, went in orbit on October 4, 1957 and the first manned spaceflight was accomplished on April 12, 1961 (by Yuri Gagarin). July 20, 1969 saw the first landing of man on the moon by Neil Armstrong; the first Space Shuttle launch was on April 12, 1981; and the International Space Station (ISS) has remained manned since November 2, 2000. Since 1961, more than 400 men and women have visited the realm of space. General Tommy Franks said:”The pieces of this operation (Iraqi Freedom) which have been successful would not have been so without space-based assets … it’s just simply a fact.”A major ingredient of success in modern warfare is the capability to collect and analyze information and then use it for the execution of command and control. Intelligence, surveillance, command and control, positioning, and targeting systems along with increasingly technical fire systems will have a key role in this area. Deliberate information warfare operations are conducted during times of crisis and war. They are planned based on of information obtained from intelligence and surveillance assets. The aim of the attacker in information operations is to produce a desired effect on targets by means of psychological warfare such as dissemination of information and other psychological operations; by using network attacks and deception along with other forms of information systems warfare; and by employing electronic warfare assets for jamming, and weapons to suppress the enemy’s intelligence, surveillance, and command and control systems.Space, the electromagnetic spectrum, virtual networks, the psychological domain, and media will occupy central roles in any future information warfare, and all these can be used in both defensive and offensive modes. The foregoing sums up as a concept of global information warfare. We already have space-based C4ISR, targeting, and positioning systems. The successful execution of operations in future wars depends on the gaining and maintaining of space supremacy. Space is in the process of becoming a new dimension in information warfare.