India to set up aerospace command to control space-based assets

India to set up aerospace command to control space-based assets

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Gandhinagar, India, 28 January 2007 – India is planning to establish soon an aerospace command to exploit outer space and control space-based assets, Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi said on 28 January. The Indian Air Force (IAF) was in the process of establishing this command by integrating its capabilities, the Air Chief told reporters. The command would combine various components like satellites, radars, communication systems and fighter aircraft and helicopters.

Air chief Tyagi’s remarks assume significance in the wake of reports that China successfully tested an anti-satellite missile. “We are an aerospace power having trans-oceanic reach. We have started training a core group of people for the aerospace command,” he said.

“The IAF needs to transform itself to adapt to new requirements. Its basic role to protect airspace and borders of the country is still there, but we have to protect our global interests. We plan to have strategic reach to meet our needs of new strategic boundaries.”

“We will take the help of ISRO for the aerospace command but it will have distinct features as it is a military command,” Air chief Tyagi said in reply to a question on the role of the space agency in setting up the proposed formation.