Army to train its officers for US-style war in space
Set to make forays in use of space applications, the Indian Army will take a leaf out of US forces' experience to train its officers in optimising the effective use of space-based resources to meet its operational requirements.
A week after India announced setting up of an Integrated Cell to coordinate all military operations based on space assets, the Army's Directorate of Perspective Planning (DOPP) will organise a training programme tomorrow for officers to make them understand the tricks of the trade, Army sources said today.
To be inaugurated by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Deepak Kapoor, the seminar would also look into the role of space-based applications in recent conflicts around the world.
"In particular, the use of space-based assets by the US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq would be debated. Army officers would learn the practices adopted by the US forces in utilising space applications to counter enemies in its battles in Iraq and Afghanistan," sources said.
The meet, to be organised in association with the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), would witness officers discussing and imbibing "space-based application used by militaries of the space-faring nations," sources said.
"It is imperative that Indian Army, being the largest user of space, exploits space-based resources optimally to meet its operational requirements," a note prepared by the DOPP to organise a day-long training for officers, said.
"The training will focus on improving Army officers' awareness and understanding about defence applications of space," sources said.
The meet would witness lectures from experts in the filed of space-based military applications, and a particular emphasis would be made to apprise Army officers on issues related to space security.
India's defence establishment was shaken up after China's capabilities to shoot down satellites was demonstrated in January 2007. Efforts are now on to put in place counter measures to ward off the Anti-Satellite (ASAT) threats.
The Integrated Space Cell under the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) Headquarters would now be the prime mover of India's aerospace defence applications.
The space cell would act as a single window between armed forces, Department of Space and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to work out measures to protect India's space-based assets.
While India remains committed to non-weaponisation of space, emergence of offensive counter space systems and anti-satellite weaponry posed new threats, Defence Minister A K Antony had said in his address to the IDS commanders conference held last week.
The DOPP note stated that space-based surveillance, reconnaissance, intelligence, communication, navigation and electronic warfare have played a dominant role in recent conflicts.
"Space, an emerging arena for defence application, is increasingly being used by militaries the world over, as space technology enable effective conduct of military operations," Army officers said.