Time for India to raise ‘space force’ as new zone of warfare emerges


A recent news article, by Lt Gen PJS Pannu at Firstpost, discusses the growing importance of space as a domain for military operations and the necessity for India to establish a dedicated space force. It highlights that major powers like the US, Russia, China, and others are already developing space military organizations. The article underscores the strategic significance of space in modern warfare, citing examples from historical conflicts such as the Gulf Wars and current engagements like the Russian-Ukraine war. It details the capabilities of space forces from different nations, including the US Space Force and the recently reorganized Chinese PLA Aerospace Force. The article concludes by outlining the potential threats from space, such as hypersonic and ballistic missiles, and stresses the need for India to develop robust space defense and warfare capabilities.

The development of space military forces and the integration of space-based technologies in warfare have significant cybersecurity implications. Space assets, including satellites used for communication, navigation, and surveillance, are potential targets for cyber-attacks. Nations with advanced cyber capabilities can disrupt satellite communications, GPS signals, and other critical space-based systems, which can degrade a country’s military effectiveness. For instance, ground-based jamming systems and cyber-attacks can prevent the use of satellite networks, impacting missile warning systems and command and control operations. The need for a dedicated space force also implies the necessity for advanced cybersecurity measures to protect these space assets from hacking and cyber espionage. Therefore, developing resilient and secure space communication networks and enhancing space domain awareness are crucial for mitigating these cybersecurity threats.