Anti-satellite Weapons Part of Indian Technology Vision

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India’s defense ministry released a technology roadmap May 25 that calls for developing anti-satellite weapons and taking steps to protect the nation’s own vital on-orbit assets against attack.

Prepared by the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the “Technology Perspective and Capability Roadmap” says  India should aspire to develop anti-satellite technologies “for electronic or physical destruction of satellites” in both low and geostationary orbits. At the same time, India should harden its own satellites and sensors against anti-satellite attacks.

Another objective laid out in the report is the development of a satellite system for “intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.” DRDO proposes India get moving toward such a system by first designing and building a microsatellite with an electronic intelligence payload.

DRDO said the roadmap is aimed at creating awareness in industry of the capability and technologies India’s armed forces will need over the next 15 years. The technology requirements are based on long-term plans formulated by the Indian army, navy and air force, the report said.

Other capabilities called for in the technology roadmap include:

  • The delivery of highly mobile, high data-rate communications “through a few captive satellites.”
  • Imaging satellites with submeter resolution and robust onboard data analysis capabilities.
  • Better integration of precision-guided weapons with India’s regional satellite navigation system.
  • A secure mobile satellite network based on the Indian National Satellite Systems to eliminate dependence on foreign satellites for tactical and strategic communications.

DRDO chief Vijay Kumar Saraswat said India’s non-space-related technology goals emphasize nuclear-biological-chemical defense, cyber security, hypersonic vehicles, directed energy weapons and smart materials.