Time for building highly capable Aatmanirbhar defence space ecosystem: CDS

New Delhi (UNI) Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan on Wednesday 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 here, Gen Chauhan underlined that from space augmentation to exploration, the government has envisioned big targets for the nation, an official statement said.

Highlighting the vitality of space for the mankind and also for the armed forces engaged in combat, the 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, he 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 Gen 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 Gen Anil Chauhan.

Underscoring that the Indian space economy is currently estimated to be around $8.4 billion, the CDS said, the indigenous space economy is expected to grow to $44 billion by the year 2033.

“The government initiatives like Seed Fund Scheme, zero percent 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 Gen 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.

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