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Time for building a highly capable Aatmanirbhar defence space ecosystem, says CDS General Anil Chauhan

CDS inaugurates DEFSAT 2024, a three-day Space Seminar & Exhibition in New Delhi

Calls upon industry to work on counter-space capabilities as deterrent for safeguarding country's space assets.

February 7, 2024 Photo(s): By PIB
The Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan addressing at the inauguration of DEFSAT 2024, in New Delhi on February 7, 2024.

Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan has stressed that as the country is going through Amrit Kaal, 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, Delhi Cantt on February 7, 2024, General Anil Chauhan underlined that from space augmentation to exploration, the Government has envisioned big targets for the nation.

Highlighting the vitality of Space for the mankind and also for the armed forces engaged in combat, CDS said that Space can be used as a force multiplier to enhance combat capabilities in traditional domains of land, air, sea and even cyber. He called upon all the stakeholders of defence space ecosystem to work on bolstering the Counter-Space capabilities as deterrent for safeguarding country's space assets.

Mentioning the major initiatives of the Government to capitalise space to strengthen armed forces capabilities, CDS mentioned 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 General Anil Chauhan.

The CDS 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 space sector with 54 additions in 2023 itself. In 2023, we as a nation invested $123 mn in the sector bringing the total funding to $380.25 mn," said General Anil Chauhan.

Underscoring that the Indian Space economy is currently estimated to be around $8.4 billion, CDS 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," added General Anil Chauhan.

The CDS also inaugurated an Exhibition showcasing various technological advances made by private space industry partners through an exposition and product presentation at the venue.

The seminar organised by CENJOWS, a Think Tank with HQ IDS for promoting Jointness, Integration and Transformation in the Indian Armed Forces, along with Satcom Industry Association India (SIA), aims at nurturing coordination and synergy between civil, commercial and defence space programmes, which is considered crucial to leverage the dual-use nature of the space sector.