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India needs space security plan

M. Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on March 12, 2018

India needs to put in a place a comprehensive space security plan, a top missile scientist, Avinash Chander, has said.

Traditional wars have been fought on land and sea. However, in the last few decades it is air warfare. Two dimensions have emerged in recent times — cyber warfare and space security, he told engineers and scientists today at the 26th national convention of aerospace engineers.

Cyber warfare

Cyber warfare is already accepted as a serious threat warranting major national initiatives to counteract. Cyber defence inherently helps create protective measures, blockages, shutdowns, and several multi-layered protection.

Space systems today have no such protections and are too remote to actively protect. However, they are equally critical. That is the reason why we need to address space security, Avinash Chander said.

What does it take to destroy a nation’s space capability? At present, India has nine active communication satellites (total launched is 24) and about 12 of these payloads in orbit. All it takes is about 50-60 anti-satellite weapons to neutralise this, he said.

“We have global treaties. But all wars start with violation of some treaty or the other. Further, treaties change with the enhancement of capabilities, which result in imbalances and changing aspirations and threat perceptions of interacting nations. The abrogation of the ballistic missile defence treaty by the US is an example,’’ Avinash Chander, Chief Controller of R&D (Missiles & Strategic System), Defence Research and Development Organisation, pointed out.

“Deterrence can at best be a gesture, what we require is space security, because our space assets are vital. The security system could consist of all-weather launch on demand capability, small high performance satellites, multiple frequency bands and a planning for attrition,’’ he added.

>Somasekhar.m@thehindu.co.in

Published on November 24, 2012

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