Government space defence spendings reach new record in 2022

A new report has stated that rising government space defence spending is being driven by investments in space security and early warning.

Consulting and marketing intelligence firm, Euroconsult, has released the 22nd edition of its annual ‘Government Space Programs’ report which is set to provide insight into rising government space budgets for the decade ahead. The report highlights spending patterns and specific areas of investment from nations around the globe, showing a continued increase in space defence spending.

2022 has seen a 9% spending increase since last year, with a cumulative spend of $103bn – a record high for the sector. Despite the recent COVID-19 pandemic, governments have increased their investments in the space sector, particularly increasing space defence spending, to support the development of the industry and sustain their ambitions.

The importance of increasing spending on space defence

The space defence area has seen a large growth in investment, reaching a 16% spending increase in 2022, topping a new record at $48bn. Current geopolitical tensions have confirmed space as a strategic operational theatre for hybrid warfare tactics. Because of this, governments must sustain their investments in traditional space applications, such as telecommunications, navigation, and Earth observation, but also invest in space defence and early warning systems to protect their space assets.

On the civil side, government expenditures are increasingly driven by human spaceflight missions, which now attract more and more new entrants encouraged by these programmes’ socioeconomic benefits and prestige.

Although civil expenditures have historically been higher than defence spendings, the gap between the two is continuously narrowing and is expected to reach 50/50 parity by 2030, according to Euroconsult’s predictions.

Largest investors in the space sector

The US is by far the largest global investor in the space sector and space defence, however, its share of global spending has reduced from 76% in 2000 to 60% in 2022 as more countries continue to join the sector. Euroconsult has reported that more than 86 countries have invested in space activities.

Some regions have shown particular enthusiasm over the past few years, notably in the Middle East with countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, and Oman accelerating their development in the sector.

Charlotte Croison, Senior Consultant at Euroconsult, stated: “The new edition of the Government Space Programs report confirms the growing interest of countries in the space sector, notably in the defence area where space militarisation has never been stronger.”

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