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India against militarisation of space: Naik

india Updated: Oct 28, 2009 10:43 IST

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Air Chief Marshal PV Naik on Wednesday said India was against the militarisation of space but the country should aim to be the front-runner in the field of aerospace.

"I don't think as a nation we are for militarisation of space. In fact, the entire world is against this. We need to leave airspace alone militarily," he said when asked about China's plans to launch a space station in the near future.

The IAF Chief was speaking at a CII event in New Delhi.

"A sovereign country can do whatever it wants and there is very little that you and I can do. Our aim should be to be the front-runner in everything including space. We should aim towards that," he said, adding that India has the expertise in the aerospace sector.

On the possibility of the involvement of IAF aircraft in anti-piracy operations, he said,"In areas where it is possible, it can easily be done. In far away areas, you naturally would not have the support."

Asked if the IAF had earmarked any such areas, he said, "You see the piracy-prone areas and draw your own conclusions. Wherever it is possible and air effort is required, definitely it will be made available but air effort by itself cannot do much except for providing information."

Recently, IAF Vice Chief Air Marshal P K Barbora had said the air force could also be called upon to support anti-piracy operations off the Somalian coast to deal with the expanding footprint of the pirates.