In new military doctrine readied by NSA Doval, India’s stand on star wars
India’s new military doctrine to be formally handed over to the government next month will spell out the country’s stand on use of anti-satellite weapons. The doctrine, which has been firmed up by a panel led by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, comes six months after India joined the elite group of countries to have tested a weapon that targets and destroys satellites in space. India is only the fourth country to have developed the capability.
New Delhi had then insisted that it had no plans to get into an arms race in outer space. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi did tell NSA Ajit Doval to come up with a doctrine that would indicate India’s considered position on possible use of ASAT.
As head of the Defence Planning Committee, NSA Doval is expected to deliver on this directive in the new military doctrine, formally called the National Security Strategy. It will be submitted to the government in October.
The doctrine will mostly remain a secret document. The unclassified portion of the report will be placed in public domain after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and may be even the Cabinet Committee on Security, approves the fundamental document that defines the Indian military posture.
Anti-satellite weapons allow for attacks on enemy satellites - either to blind them or disrupt communications. They also provide a technology base for intercepting ballistic missiles.
There are only three other countries that have the capacity to attack enemy satellites; the United States, Russia and China.
The doctrine, which would broadly outline the stand on use of anti-satellite weapons, is being seen in the context of China, the only country in the neighbourhood which has had a matching capacity and is considered close to India’s troublesome neighbour, Pakistan.
Officials indicate that New Delhi will stick to its commitment made that Mission Shakti, under which the anti-satellite test was carried out, was aimed at deterring threats to its space assets from long-range missiles.
The new military doctrine will also focus on the projection of comprehensive national power, future war fronts and also explore if India needs naval expeditionary forces.
The doctrine is also expected to define India’s position on no first use (of nuclear weapons) in the current context as well as other red lines that could lead to strategic escalation.