Sunday, June 09, 2019

Does India Need its own Space Force?

India is setting up a military space agency called the Defence Space agency (DSA) that’s expected to command of all the space assets of India’s army, navy and air force.

For nearly the last decade, a debate has taken place in India highlighting the need to establish a Space Command to address military needs. For all these years, India has had a Military Space Cell, a tri-service organization under the aegis of the Integrated Defence Services, or IDS. Formation of this organization was announced on June 10 2008, by the then-defense minister.

The idea of DSA was mooted a few years back, possibly with a view to make an incremental increase in the space-related defense infrastructure. Hence, instead of having a Space Command headed by a three-star general, it was thought suitable to create a DSA headed by a two-star general. All these structures had a relevance when India was not a military power with anti-satellite (ASAT) capability. However, now that India successfully conducted its March 27 ASAT, can DSA take India’s military space agenda further, or there is a need to establish a separate ecosystem for this?

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