President Yoweri Museveni has revealed that Uganda is preparing to launch a satellite into space to enhance the military capabilities of the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF).
He said the satellite will provide “eyes from up” to complement the existing surveillance systems.
UPDF’s Growing Capacity
Museveni made the announcement during the graduation ceremony of 295 cadet officers from the UPDF Land and Air Forces at the Uganda Military Academy Kabamba in Mubende district. He said the UPDF has evolved from a guerrilla force to a modern and comprehensive army that can deal with various threats.
“...the force is now becoming more and more comprehensive in terms of capacity to deal with all types of threats. And once we launch our satellite, it will reinforce what we already have, because what the satellite does, it gives you eyes from up. We have some eyes there but we can have more with the satellite,” Museveni said.
“When we started, we had only infantry people but now, we have all the arms and we are working on launching a satellite.”
UPDF’s Space Ambitions
Museveni said that launching a satellite is part of the UPDF’s efforts to strengthen its presence in the space domain, which is becoming increasingly important for national security and development. He said Uganda is not alone in pursuing this goal, as many other countries have already deployed satellites for various purposes.
“We are not the first ones to go to space. Many countries have gone there. Some have gone there for peaceful purposes, some have gone there for military purposes. We are going there for both,” he said.
Museveni did not give details on when and how Uganda plans to launch its satellite, but he said it will be done in collaboration with friendly countries that have expertise in space technology.
UPDF’s Future Prospects
Museveni congratulated the cadet officers for completing their training and joining the UPDF, which he described as a “bright future”. He said they are lucky to be part of a well-equipped and developed force that has many opportunities for career growth and service to the nation.
“The land forces, infantry, artillery, armoured, air-force are all developed now. Therefore, now that you’re in this type of force, your future is bright. I’m very happy and congratulate everybody.”
Museveni also said that the UPDF is working on consolidating its marine forces to protect Uganda’s vast water resources from external threats and illegal activities.