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Space Defence | Is India prepared to fight, and win tomorrow’s wars?

India needs to craft a strategic space policy and doctrine without which it will not be possible to shift the focus from civil to military use of space.

August 09, 2019 / 01:02 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

Prakash Chandra

Imagine this: Indian spy satellites intercept enemy signals indicating imminent land, sea, air and cyber-attacks on the country’s defence installations. The commander-in-chief holds a four-way conversation with ground, sea and air units thousands of miles apart by bouncing his voice off a high orbiting satellite. Low-flying photo-reconnaissance spacecraft survey enemy targets, locate battle formations and count and identify individual missiles and combat units massing on the borders. Using navigation satellites, aircraft and nuclear submarines get into missile firing positions.

This is one of the scenarios played out in India’s first simulated space warfare drill, IndSpaceEx, conducted last month by the armed forces.

From all accounts, the two-day-long virtual war games reminded India’s defence planners that they have homework to do before the country’s space assets are secured. “The exercise was a valuable learning experience for all stakeholders,” a senior Indian Air Force (IAF) officer told this author “We could take a closer look at the emerging space security challenges which will help in acquiring appropriate defence capabilities in space.”