China weaponising space domain a threat: Air Force Chieftext_fields
New Delhi: Indian Air Force Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said on Thursday that China had weaponised the space domain as well as terrestrial and aerial domains recently. He said that the three domains had lost their 'individual identities' after the country had released a spectrum of arms ranging from drones to hypersonic ballistic missiles, The Indian Express reported.
Addressing the Jumbo Majumdar International Seminar on Future Challenges of Aerospace Power, Chaudhari said that space-based arms would be inevitable for operations in the future's networked scenario.
China's recent demonstration of moving a dead satellite into the graveyard orbit is a threat, viewed in the context of the weaponising space domain. The domain was considered safe before, he said.
"The spectrum that we are looking at stretches from kinetic to non-kinetic, lethal to non-lethal and from small drones to hypersonic ballistic missiles. This vast and ever-changing continuum will pose significant challenges for the armed forces of the future," he said.
Chaudhari explained China's hypersonic missiles, which the neighbour tested last year. He said that the missile is launched from Earth's surface, flies to space and returns to target with unprecedented speeds. When space-based assets become hubs to control combats in land, water or air, they will become potential targets for the enemy. He said, "armed forces across the world have realised that the control of this vast continuum should rest with the air force."
The growing numbers of aerial units like drones will become a serious challenge for traditional airspace control, and "there would be teaming of manned and unmanned combat systems," Chaudhary said. The challenge on airs space control must be addressed before technology overtakes the world, he added.
Chaudhari further said that terrestrial, aerial and space-based systems have become a single entity under a shared network and thus vulnerable to attacks. The traditional sea and aerial warfare will always happen; therefore, modern means to disrupt conventional capabilities must be countered, he said. In the last century, the aviation sector had unparalleled levels of growth. It had revolutionised the character of warfare, and now, control of airspace has become essential for all levels of operations.
Chaudhari urged the "all of nation approach" so that no single entity will have the resources to develop future battle-ready technology.