The country is going through Amrit Kaal; it is time to build a highly capable Aatmanirbhar defence space ecosystem, said Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan on Wednesday. He was addressing during inauguration of ‘DEFSAT’, a three-day Space Seminar and Exhibition at the Manekshaw Centre.

Highlighting the vitality of space for mankind and also for the armed forces engaged in combat, the CDS said that space can be used as a force multiplier to enhance combat capabilities in traditional domains of land, air, sea and even cyber.

He called upon all the stakeholders in the defence space ecosystem to work on bolstering counter-space capabilities as a deterrent for safeguarding the country’s space assets. Mentioning the major initiatives of the government to capitalise on space to strengthen armed forces capabilities, CDS mentioned the 75 space-related challenges as part of 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. Anil Chauhan. The CDS emphasised that the government is encouraging all the stakeholders, including start-ups, to develop a dependable space ecosystem within the nation. Underscoring that the Indian space economy is currently estimated to be around $8.4 billion, CDS said that the indigenous space economy is expected to grow to $44 billion by the year 2033.

“The government initiatives like the Seed Fund Scheme, the 0 percent GST regime, the 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,” added Gen. Anil Chauhan.

The CDS also inaugurated an exhibition showcasing various technological advances made by private space industry partners through an exposition and product presentation at the venue. The seminar organised by CENJOWS, a think tank with HQ IDS for promoting jointness, Integration and transformation in the Indian Armed Forces, along with the Satcom Industry Association of India (SIA), aims at nurturing coordination and synergy between civil, commercial and defence space programmes, which is considered crucial to leveraging the dual-use nature of the space sector.