Indian advance in space

Everybody is advancing, just not the United States.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 – On July 1, 2013 Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) received another boost by the launch of a geostationary satellite. Though the rocket has a presumable reach of 6000 km but this apparently peaceful advancement in space has military potential. For instance, it is a step towards India’s gradually building anti-ballistic missile defense shield and enhancement of its reconnaissance potential. One wonders if this potential militarization of space will ultimately lead to weaponisation and compel New Delhi’s current and future adversaries to respond in letter and in spirit.

These satellites carry peaceful payloads and can also carry weapons of mass destruction. For instance, satellites delivery systems help place in the outer space navigation solutions like the American Global Positioning System, Russian GLONASS and Chinese Beidou. Likewise, if nuclear weapon warhead is emplaced on the rocket, it can take the living daylights out of the civilizations.

The early warning function of the so-called peaceful satellites facilitate Ballistic Missile Defense Shield and thus increase the intercept capabilities in the boost or mid-course phase of a ballistic missile. This is apparently an excellent defensive use. However, it may give a false sense of security to India and may even encourage it launch a pre-emptive strike against its adversary. In case of India or Pakistan, the chances of things getting messy are higher than other adversaries who get more reaction time due to geographical distances. India will achieve almost nothing by such satellite endeavor with respect to missile defence due to geographical contiguity with Pakistan. If India develops a military space capability or an operational BMD shield, it will greatly affect the nuclear deterrence with Pakistan. India shall compel Pakistan to take further initiatives in nuclear and military posture. Pakistan’s missiles and space programme is not an ambitious at the moment. History shows that India has always provoked Pakistan to reluctantly respond to its “peaceful” initiatives. If New Delhi makes long range delivery systems like Agni VI, other states and even the U.S. will start factoring it in their threat calculus. At the moment Europe and America are lulled by their economic cooperation with India. Pakistan must multiply its efforts to develop suitable defensive means for penetrating such Indian endeavors. These may vary from use of missiles, aircraft and to very modest conventional means of defeating the Indian defensive shield. Pakistan must bolster its second strike capability through nuclear submarine. Submarine launched cruise missiles will be very difficult for the satellite to intercept because it is very difficult to track and hunt a submarine. Likewise, multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) is also a good defensive option to defeat Indian space based military potential.

Full article: Indian advance in space (Pakistan Observer)

Comments are closed.