Thiruvananthapuram: The proposed aerospace command of the Indian defence services shall be a tri-services command according to the chief of air staff Air Marshal SP Tyagi. Speaaking with reporters on Monday the air chief said that all three services would exploit the country's space-based assets whenever the command came into existence.
"You must understand that there will be several agencies which will exploit the medium of space for reconnaissance, for many other things. So, protection should be Air Force's responsibility but exploitation of space assets should be a combined responsibility," Tyagi told reporters during his visit to Southern Air Command headquarters here.
"And therefore, the three services have decided that as and when the aerospace command comes through, it will be tri-service command, all three will be involved," he added.
Tyagi had announced in January that the defence services would set up an aerospace command to utilize and defend space-based assets as part of its overall defence cover.
In this regard Tyagi mentioned that the Indian Air Force (IAF) would try and replicate the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) set up by the United States and Canada, which detects and tracks man-made objects in outer space.
As for ongoing inductions, Tyagi also mentioned that the IAF would induct 80 new helicopters into the force by 2008. He also said that the government was set to sign a contract for 40 additional Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft, which should begin arriving this year.
Tyagi also said that two airfields would soon be built at Sulur near Coimbatore and Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The Sulur airfield would base the Light Combat Aircraft, he added.
He also informed reporters that IAF personnel would visit the UK in July to exercise with the Royal Air Force and also with the Singapore Air Force sometime this year. The IAF had just finished exercising with the French, he said.