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India to set up space cell to counter threats to space-based assets

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, June 10, IRNA
India-Space Assets-Space Cell
Defense Minister A K Antony Tuesday said while addressing the Unified Commanders' Conference in New Delhi that India will soon set up an Integrated Space Cell to counter growing threats to the country's space-based assets.

Waking up to the threat posed by China acquiring capability to shoot down satellites by missiles, India today announced setting up of an integrated space cell to counter growing threats to the country's space-based assets.

The space cell, under the aegis of the Integrated Defense Services Headquarters is to act as a single window between armed forces, Department of Space and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to work out measures to protect India's space-based assets.

Announcing its setting up, Antony said while India remains committed to non-weaponization of space, emergence of offensive counter space systems and anti-satellite weaponry posed new threats which had to be countered.

Antony said new threats to space-assets were also emerging from building of new class of heavy lift and small boosters and improved array of military space systems in the country's neighborhood.

The minister's announcements comes in the wake of India recently putting into orbit a number of specialized satellites including the nations first ever dedicated military satellite this year.

In months to come, ISRO has a busy schedule with plans to launch even more sophisticated satellites.

During the two-day conference, top armed forces commanders will discuss plans to utilize satellite imagery to boost security and intelligence.

This is the first time that Indian defense commanders reviewed in depth the security implications of the build up of Chinese nuclear submarine fleet.

Presided over by chairman, chiefs of staff committee, Admiral Sureesh Mehta and attended by army and air force chiefs and commanders from the strategic forces command and the Andaman Nicobar tri-service Command, the conference will also review the country's nuclear preparedness.

Along with space cell, Antony also announced setting up of Defense Informatics Centre (DIC) on the pattern of the National Informatics Center.

DIC will cater to e-governance of the armed forces, the Defense Ministry and other associated organizations, the minister said.

At the conference which was chaired by Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee Admiral Sureesh Mehta, Antony also announced setting up of the Defense Information Technology Consultative Committee (DITCC), which would comprise specialists from the ministry, armed forces, Ministry of Communication and IT, academia and the industry.

The conference was attended by Army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor and the Air Chief F H Major, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff Lt Gen H S Lidder, Defense Secretary Vijay Singh and commanders of the country's strategic forces and the Andaman-based Tri-Services Command.


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