New Delhi. 17 September 2021. In a meeting with the Secretary [Defence] Dr Ajay Kumar, SIA-India led by President Dr Subba Rao Pavuluri, highlighted the possibilities for the country’s Defence requirements with the emergence of the commercial space sector and space start-ups in India. The nascent industry is on the verge of taking its rightful place among the large players internationally.
The Joint Doctrine of the three services emphatically emphasizes the importance of satellite systems. The use of space assets for communications, reconnaissance, imagery and geolocation are integral to modern military requirements.
*Space tech needs to be optimally utilized. Dr. Ajay Kumar Secretary Defense * observed “While other countries are looking at space for leisure, in India we are still far behind in our development of Space technologies and the opportunities thereof“
The private sector is moving towards significant rationalization of cost of launch and is on the path toward a proliferated constellation of small satellites for navigation, sensing, Command, Control, Communications, Computers (C4) in space. The indigenous industrial capability developed by the private sector over the years working with ISRO can play a significant role in meeting the upstream and downstream space based requirements of the Defence industry.
SIA-India also appreciated the initiatives of the Ministry of Defence in streamlining and promoting Indian industry through schemes like Buy Indian-(IDDM) and Buy and Make (Indian) categories of procurement and Defence Testing Infrastructure scheme (DTIS) for active participation towards the vision of ‘Atmanirbharta’ in Defence production. This has led to Industry participation in projects like Mobile Integrated Network Terminal (MINT).
Dr. Pavuluri, President SIA-India, said: “The game-changer for the defence and space sectors relates to the qualification of indigenous space capabilities towards discharge of offset obligations. Sourcing of space equipment and services- such as launch services of foreign satellites through PSLV/GSLV, sounding rockets, components, etc. from the Indian private industry should be made eligible to meet offset obligations.”
Currently out of the USD 12 Bn offset obligations, only USD 5 Bn has been discharged. Leveraging the synergies between defence and space industries could help foreign OEMs in discharging their obligations by opening up a new avenue for discharge. This could potentially open up the export market and help India meet the export target of USD 1 Tn by 2025.
SIA-India has recommended (1) the use of existing satellite constellations capacity for immediate Defence needs and (2)introduce a PLI scheme for manufacturing in Space and Defence sectors