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War in space a possibility: CDS
Need to develop dual-use platforms in that domain: Chauhan
New Delhi : Highlighting the intense race towards militarisation of space, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Anil Chauhan on Tuesday made a strong pitch for developing dual-use platforms with a special focus on incorporating cutting-edge technology in the space domain.
Inaugurating a three-day Indian DefSpace Symposium organised by Indian Space Association (ISpA), Gen Chauhan said the steady traffic towards weaponisation of space has led to a possibility of a war in space.
"Space is a domain which is enhancing capabilities of other domains of land, sea, air and even cyber.
The military application of space is the dominant discourse from which we cannot remain divorced," he said. The CDS flagged the anti-satellite tests carried out by Russia and China and stressed on the need for India to build offensive and defensive capabilities in the space domain. "As far as India is concerned, the present and future challenges are that India should transit from space support to a space enhancement in the space domain.
The aim for all of us should be towards developing dual-use platforms with a special focus towards incorporating cutting-edge technology," Gen Chauhan said. He said India should expand the NavIC constellation, provide agile space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and ensure secure satellite-assisted communications.
"We also need to explore the field of miniaturization of satellites and reusable launch platforms to mitigate cost challenges and accelerate the pace of augmenting our space-based capabilities," Gen Chauhan said.
The populating of space domain and the emergence of a dynamic threat environment to space assets also demanded that India enhance its space situational awareness capability, he said, adding that Project Netra drawn up by ISRO was a step in that direction.
Gen Chauhan said the invasion of the space domain by commercial enterprises, as seen during the Russia-Ukraine conflict by SpaceX and Maxar, had unfolded a new area in the war on convergence.
"This combined with the intense race towards militarisation of space has resulted in the battlespace becoming expanded and the very nature of warfare is at a major cusp of transformation," the CDS said.