The Italian Ministry of Defense is forming a Joint Command for Space Operations to oversee and control the national defense space systems.
The institution of the “Comando Interforze delle Operazioni Spaziali” (Joint Space Operations Command) or “COS” was announced in December 2019 by the Undersecretary of Defense Angelo Tofalo during the presentation of the book “Geopolitica dell’esplorazione spaziale” at the Center for American Studies in Rome.
The new joint command will link the existing Air Defense Network with Early Warning and Missile Defense and Space Situational Awareness to “spot, identify and react to any threats brought into space or against space assets.”
General Alberto Rosso, Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force, said that Space is the “fifth domain” and the Italian Air Force signed a contract with Virgin Atlantic for a suborbital research flight on SpaceShipTwo.
Italian MoD operates 10 satellites in total: SICRAL 1, SICRAL 1B, SICRAL 2 and Athena Fidus for communications, OPTSAT-3000 for optical reconnaissance and COSMO-SkyMed First and Second Generation for radar earth observation.
The official “patch” of COS was unveiled short time ago and contains some distinguishing elements:
- “HIC SUNT LEONES” is a Latin expression that means “Here Be Lions” and is used for dangerous or unexplored territories.
- The Italian peninsula is above other nations (in a strange place…);
- Behind the globe there is the Delta symbol very similar to already existing logos of Air Force Space Command (AFSC) and United States Space Force (USSF);
- The star over the globe is a five-point star that remembers the Great Star of Italy or Stellone.