French President Emmanuel Macron announced last month that the nation's air force will establish a space command for the purpose of national defense, particularly to protect of French satellites.
Last week, French Minister of Defense Florence Parly detailed the nation's plan for its new space force, which involves equipping satellites with machine guns and lasers, according to the French news weekly Le Point.
First, the country will launch next-generation Syracuse satellites equipped with cameras that will be able to identify threats in space, such as anti-satellite weapons.
The French military currently operates a constellation of three Syracuse satellites that are primarily used for communication between the mainland and French troops deployed abroad. But after the new cameras are tried and tested, France will launch another generation of Syracuse satellites that will also be able to destroy enemy satellites.
The upgraded Syracuse satellites will be armed with either submachine guns or lasers that could disable or even destroy another satellite, according to Le Point; France aims to have those space weapons fully operational in orbit by 2030.