Time for building a highly capable Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) defence space ecosystem; CDS emphasises space as a force multiplier for enhanced combat capabilities across domains
General Anil Chauhan, Chief of Defence Staff, has urged all participants within the defence space sector to collaborate in strengthening Counter-Space capabilities as a deterrent to safeguard the country’s space assets. Emphasising the significance of space for both humanity and the armed forces involved in conflicts, the CDS stated that space has the potential to serve as a force multiplier, enhancing combat capabilities across conventional domains such as land, air, sea, and even cyberspace.
At the launch of the ‘DEFSAT’ space seminar and exhibition in the capital on Wednesday, General Anil Chauhan emphasised the government’s ambitious goals for the nation, ranging from space augmentation to exploration. He highlighted that in the current golden era, known as Amrit Kaal, it is imperative to establish a robust and Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) defence space ecosystem.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) highlighted the government’s endeavours to leverage space to enhance the armed forces’ capabilities. He referenced the 75 space-related challenges incorporated in Mission DefSpace 2022 under the iDEX initiative.
“Under this initiative, a total of five contracts have been signed, and an additional four contracts are at various stages of documentation. In similar timelines, a feasibility study of 12 Make-I challenges is also being progressed,” said Gen Chauhan.
He stressed the government’s commitment to fostering a reliable space ecosystem within the country, urging all stakeholders, including start-ups, to contribute. Highlighting that the current valuation of the Indian space economy is approximately $8.4 billion, CDS said that the indigenous space economy is expected to grow to $44 billion by 2033.
“The government initiatives like Seed Fund Scheme, 0% GST regime, sharing of testing facilities, and technology transfer have provided the rightful support to the private industry. This framework, along with the alignment of demands and funding support, provides the right environment for the private sector to grow,” he added.
The conference, organised by CENJOWS, a think tank with HQ IDS to promote jointness, integration, and transformation in the Indian Armed Forces, in collaboration with the Satcom Industry Association of India (SIA), which seeks to foster cooperation and synergy among civil, commercial, and defence space programs. This coordination is essential for maximising the dual-use potential of the space sector.