Amid Militarisation of Space, Develop Dual-use Technology: CDS Gen Chauhan

Indian Army

New Delhi: Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Anil Chauhan said the aim should be towards developing dual-use platforms with a special focus towards incorporating cutting-edge technology and expansion of NAVIC constellation, provide agile space-based ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) and ensure secure satellite-assisted communications.

Speaking at the ‘Indian DefSpace Symposium 2023’ organised by Indian Space Association (ISpA) in association with Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO), he emphasised the need for developing dual-use platforms with a special focus towards incorporating cutting-edge technology and called upon the DRDO Chairman to work closely with the academia, start-ups, MSMEs and larger companies.

General Chauhan said there is need to explore the miniaturisation of satellites and reusable launch platforms to mitigate costs and challenges and accelerate the pace of augmenting space-based capabilities.

“The populating of the space domain and the emergence of a dynamic threat environment to our space assets demand space situational awareness capability. There is also a requirement to safeguard our assets with counter space capabilities. We must build resilience and redundancy in a space-based infrastructure,” he added.

DRDO chief, Samir V Kamat said, “We at DRDO have started increasing our focus on the very critical space domain with a focus on space-based surveillance, space situational awareness and protecting our space-based assets.”

Kamat noted that DRDO now looking at working very closely with industry as well as academia right from the development stage and have started DRDO industry-academia centres of excellence in about 15 institutions mostly within the country.

DRDO also requested academia, start-ups, MSMEs and larger companies to work with it closely so they can help the country achieve these capabilities much faster than what we have been able to do for all other systems, he said.

Symposium was also attended by Lt Gen AK Bhatt (Retd), DG of ISpA, Air Vice Marshal DV Khot, Air Marshal BR Krishna (Retd) and others.

The event also organised a session with experts from the defence and technology sectors which analysed China’s military capabilities, including its space-based assets and how they are affecting the balance of power in the region.