COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – U.S. Strategic Command and the French Ministry of Defense have expanded their Space Situational Awareness (SSA) data-sharing agreement to include classified information, the countries announced April 16 at the 31st Space Symposium here.

The United States and France were already sharing unclassified SSA data under an agreement signed in January 2014. That agreement allowed Stratcom to provide data from the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, directly to the French military upon request. Previously, such requests had to be approved at higher levels of the U.S. government.

This new agreement will allow the countries to share “advanced SSA” data and classified data when appropriate.

In all, the U.S. government has signed nearly 50 unclassified data-sharing agreements with other governments and private-sector entities, Defense Department officials have said.

“We are pleased to expand our space partnership with France, one of our oldest and closest allies. These agreements are mutually beneficial, enabling greater spaceflight safety, increasing our national security and that of our allies and enhancing our 24/7 global operations,” U.S. Navy Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of U.S. Strategic Command said in a statement.


Mike Gruss covers military space issues, including the U.S. Air Force and Missile Defense Agency, for SpaceNews. He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.