The government has finalised the broad contours of a new defence space agency which will develop capabilities to protect India's interests in outer space and deal with threats of space wars, official sources said on Tuesday. The agency is being tasked with developing a range of platforms and co-orbital weapons to protect Indian assets in space and to have deterrence, they added.
The sources stated that the government is also planning to set up a defence space research organisation to carry out research and development relating to military dimension of use of outer space.
The move to set up the defence space agency comes over two months after the government carried out an Anti-Satellite (A-SAT) test by shooting down a live satellite. With the A-SAT test, India joined a select group of countries to have capability to shoot down a satellite.
"The Defence Space Agency will evolve strategy to protect India's interests in outer space including dealing with threat of space wars," said a senior military official.
The setting up of the defence space agency was discussed at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security of the previous government, the sources said.
The need for developing counterspace capability was discussed threadbare at a meeting of Defence Planning Committee (DPC) chaired by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval in April.
The DPC is working on "comprehensive" planning for the defence forces besides focusing on military doctrines to deal with emerging security challenges.
A joint doctrine developed by the Army, Air Force and the Navy had also strongly recommended setting up of a Defence Space Agency along with a 'Defence Cyber Agency'.