New Delhi: Air chief marshal FH Major said Thursday that the Indian Air Force had set up a "dedicated space sub-branch" that would now "coordinate" all its activities on aerospace. He also said that the force had embarked on "a series of progressive steps to integrate assets in space into its operational plans".
According to the IAF chief, this meant "synergising the capability that space provides" along with the traditional systems in the IAF. "Military application (in space) is only beginning to find a foothold in this country," he said.
In an oblique reference to China, ACM Major said there was an exponential expansion of space capability by some countries while their "intent" seemed "opaque". This he said created "serious doubts".
India had announced in June this year that it had set up an "integrated space cell under the aegis of the Integrated Defence Services head quarters" to counter "the growing threat" to its space assets.
Defence minister AK Antony had stated in June this year that though India wanted to "utilise space for peaceful purposes" and remain committed to the policy of non-weaponisation of space but "offensive counter-space systems like anti-satellite weaponry, new classes of heavy lift and small boosters and an improved array of military space systems have emerged in our neighbourhood".