Indian Army Looks to “Catch Up With China” in Space Warfare
Text of report by Indian news agency PTI
New Delhi, 22 October: Seeking to catch up with China and other advanced nations in space warfare, Indian armed forces have finalized plans for use of space for military applications.
Taking a leaf from the Indian Air Force [IAF], the army has finalised its Space Vision 2020 which will be vetted at Tuesday’s [23 October] top commanders’ conference here.
Like the IAF, the army has now also established a “space cell” at the headquarters here apparently in anticipation of a government nod for setting up of tri-service aerospace command.
“The commanders’ conclave will be aimed at ratifying the army space philosophy”, an army spokesman said.
With the Chinese recently demonstrating its capability to destroy a satellite, India’s strategic planners asked the armed forces to gear up for use of outer space for military applications.
A top officer said Army Vision provides for “concept of utilization of space at tactical, operational and strategic levels”.
For this, the Army Vision also provides for acquiring operational capabilities and setting up ground-based space tracking stations, officials said.
The army Space Vision plan comes as the country’s is on the threshold of launching in orbit its first dedicated military satellite, with Israeli expertise.
“Space applications are expected to enhance functional effectiveness of the army even in non-combat operations,” officials said.
They said space-based communication could be used for weather forecasts, avalanche warnings and navigation. “Towards this end, the issue of consolidation and convergence of networks to cater to appropriate redundancies are also slated to be deliberated upon at length”, they said.
The four-day conclave will also focus on the need to speed up hi- tech arms systems where there has been some delay and slow downs and effective use of ammunition.
A special session would also be devoted to human rights issue in conflict zones. The ex-servicemen contributory health scheme is also being expanded and a draft would be finalised at the conclave.
Along with army, IAF and navy would also be holding their top commanders conference.
“The navy is planning a capability-driven rather than threat- centric force,” a naval spokesman said.
Originally published by PTI news agency, New Delhi, in English 1138 22 Oct 07.
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