New Delhi: Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhary on Tuesday said that the outcomes in the aerospace domain will probably decide the eventual victor in future conflicts.
Like air power’s effect on surface battles, aerospace power is fast emerging as the new paradigm which shall greatly influence all surface activities, he said.
The IAF Chief was addressing the 12th Annual Conference and Exhibition on Geospatial Intelligence organised by the Space Association of India.
“Notably, in our case, the Kargil war served as a trigger for having additional satellites towards force enhancement operations. However, newer technologies have made us to realign our planning for resources, strategies and ideas. In the IAF, we are using terrestrial and space enabled capabilities to ensure a high degree of network centricity,” he said.
He said that as reliance on space grows, space based assets will become centres of gravity that are likely to be targeted in war and ‘less than war’ situations.
This is leading to evolution of concepts of force projection, protection and targeting in Space, he added.
The IAF Chief said that anti satellite tests by major nations are an indication of the onset of this contestation and militarisation of outer space.
“In recent times, the increased focus on military Space application has been accelerated by two key factors; firstly the increased geo-political churnings which have aggravated the threat scenario in this region. Secondly, the growing realisation that the boundaries that separate civil and military space assets are getting blurred and most of the applications are dual use cases,” the IAF Chief said.
The evolution of Space capabilities has resulted in these assets growing well beyond mere force enhancement roles. It is now possible to use these assets to actually apply military force ‘in, from and through Space’, he added.
He said that the key areas for the armed forces would be the development of Missile Defence Radars for Space Situational Awareness, Space Based Sensors and optical telescopes to track adversarial objects.
The IAF Chief said that the existing capabilities of ISRO and DRDO would thus need to be integrated into the Air Surveillance picture of the IAF, well beyond the present 100 km altitude.
This integration would provide a gradual progression to a Space Surveillance Network, he said.