New Delhi: Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan on Wednesday called upon the industry to work on counter-space capabilities as a deterrent for safeguarding the country’s space assets.
Noting that the country is going through ”Amrit Kaal”, he said it is time for building a highly capable Aatmanirbhar defence space ecosystem.
Inaugurating ‘DEFSAT’, a three-day Space Seminar and Exhibition at the Manekshaw Centre here, Gen Chauhan underlined that from space augmentation to exploration, the government has envisioned big targets for the nation.
Highlighting the vitality of space for humankind and also for the armed forces engaged in combat, the CDS said space can be used as a force multiplier to enhance combat capabilities in traditional domains of land, air, sea and even cyber.
Mentioning the major initiatives of the government to capitalise space to strengthen capabilities of the armed forces, he spoke about the 75 space-related challenges as part of ”Mission DefSpace 2022” under the iDEX initiative. “Under this initiative, a total of five contracts have been signed and additional four contracts are at various stages of documentation. In the similar timelines, a feasibility study of 12 Make-I challenges is also being progressed,” said Gen Chauhan.
He emphasised that the government is encouraging all the stakeholders including start-ups for development of a dependable space ecosystem within the nation. “We probably had one Start Up in 2014 which has grown to 204 Start Ups in the space sector with 54 additions in 2023 itself. In 2023, we as a nation invested $123 million in the sector bringing the total funding to $380.25 millin,” the General said.
Noting that the Indian Space economy is currently estimated to be around $8.4 billion, he said, the indigenous space economy is expected to grow to $44 billion by the year 2033.
“The government initiatives like Seed Fund Scheme, 0% GST regime, sharing of testing facilities, technology transfer have provided the rightful support to the private industry. This framework along with alignment of demands and funding support provide the right environment for the private sector to grow,” he added.