French President Emmanuel Macron is flanked by French Defense Minister Florence Parly and Junior Defense Minister Genevieve Darrieussecq, as he speaks at the residence of French Defense Minister on the eve of Bastille Day in Paris, France, July 13, 2019.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday announced he was creating a national military space force command that would eventually be part of his country's air force.
Macron said space has become a "true national security issue" due to increased spending and interest in the area by the United States, India, China and Russian Federation.
The president said the new space command would be created in September and would initially be tasked with "better protecting" French satellites.
Last year Macron had spoken of the need for a strategy for space defence and this was the result, he said.
USA military officials have admitted that American forces would find themselves fighting from space "in a matter of years".
French operations could no longer do without a presence in space "to contribute to our autonomy of evaluation, decision and action in a decisive manner", she said.
France's declared interest in boosting its military readiness in space follows increased spending and interest in the area by the United States, China and Russian Federation.
US President Donald Trump's administration announced a plan past year to create a new "Space Force" as the sixth branch of the military by 2020.
Military activities - including spy satellites, location tracing and jamming, communications and cyber-attacks - could increasingly be set up in orbit around Earth.
The French military spending programme for 2019-2025 has earmarked 3.6 billion euros ($4.06 billion) for investments and renewal of French satellites.