France has become the latest country to announce the creation of a space command to boost its defence capabilities.

Announced by French President Emmanuel Macron, the new space command would be established within the country’s airforce by next September.

Macron told military personnel on the eve of the country’s annual Bastille Day celebrations that the space command will enhance the protection of French satellites.

Other countries to have previously introduced space defence operations in recent years include the US, China and Russia, reported BBC.

Macron was quoted by the broadcaster as saying: “We will strengthen our knowledge of the space situation. We will better protect our satellites, including in an active way.

“And to give substance to this doctrine, to ensure the development and reinforcement of our space capabilities, a large space command will be created next September within the airforce, which will eventually become the air and space force.”

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Last year, France Defence Minister Florence Parly said that the country is looking for strategic space autonomy to address growing threats in the space domain, reported Reuters.

According to the news agency, the French Government has set aside €3.6bn ($4.06bn) for 2019-25 to renew and upgrade its military satellites.

The investment will allow the country to detect spying attempts by ‘rival’ nations.

The US Government announced last year that it would create a space force as the sixth branch of the country’s armed forces.

US President Donald Trump ordered the formation of the force by 2020.