India’s Big Focus On Space As It Modernises Military: Foreign Media

India's Big Focus On Space As It Modernises Military: Foreign Media

India signed a deal with France to buy 36 Rafale aircraft, which will be delivered in 3 years.

India is laying the groundwork for the formation of a space command to give it a military edge in the tense South Asia region, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi pursues a broader upgrade of the armed forces.

Signaling a shift in focus from civil to military use of space, India has expanded its satellite program over the last three years to cover long-distance communication for soldiers in the field, cross-border surveillance and a more accurate use of firepower. The establishment of a space command would help better coordinate those efforts.

Seven key civil satellites, controlled by the Indian Space Research Organisation, already contribute to government responses on climate change, agriculture, food and water security, disaster management as well as navigation and communication.

The development of a space command stretching across the military “needs to be expedited,” Air Force chief Arup Raha, the most senior officer in the country, said in an e-mailed response to questions. In the meantime, a cross-service Defence Space Agency will be set up under the command of a two-star officer, he said.

India is only just starting to use space technology for the military, said Ajey Lele, a senior fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi and a retired air force group captain.


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