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India's Top General Makes Strong Pitch for Both Defensive & Offensive Capabilities in Space

© AP Photo / Arun Sankar KIndian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO), Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle lifts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, India
Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO), Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle lifts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, India - Sputnik India, 1920, 11.04.2023
In 2019, India carried out its maiden anti-satellite (ASAT) test, wherein a missile successfully destroyed a satellite in the Earth's orbit after engaging the target in space.
India's top military general Anil Chauhan on Tuesday voiced his support for the country's armed forces to have both offensive and defensive capabilities in space warfare.
"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 on the first day of the Indian DefSpace Symposium organized by the Indian Space Association in New Delhi.
Highlighting the rapid militarization of space, including the anti-satellite missile tests conducted by China and Russia, India's Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Chauhan noted that the South Asian nation should develop "dual-use platforms" for civilian and military purposes.
These platforms should feature "cutting-edge technology" so that India could become a leader in the space domain, he added.
"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," Gen. Chauhan elaborated.
A pedestrian walks past a digital display congratulating Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Mumbai on September 7, 2019. - Sputnik India, 1920, 02.04.2023
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He explained that India should work on providing "space-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR)" so that the country has a foolproof satellite-assisted system of communication.
The retired general also spoke about the high costs of developing capabilities in the space domain and stressed the reuse of satellite launch platforms to overcome the cost challenge.
Pointing towards the invasion of space by commercial entities like SpaceX and Maxar during Russia's ongoing special military operation in Ukraine, Chauhan opined that a new area had been unveiled in the convergence war.
"This combined with the intense race towards militarization of space has resulted in the battlespace becoming expanded and the very nature of warfare is at a major cusp of transformation," he concluded.