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India’s Defense Space Agency Hunting For New Technology That Can Track Enemy Assets

India’s Defence Space Agency (DSA) is looking for technology to deal with threats in and from space, according to reports. The DSA was formed in mid-2019 following the nod from the ministry of defense. 

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According to The Times of India, the DSA has invited proposals from companies on technologies providing space situational awareness solutions, which can “detect, identify and track enemy assets while also warning about any impending attacks”.

The agency has been in talks with different companies to procure the said technology since 2020 but the RFI (request for information) was issued in January 2021, the TOI report said. The companies have to respond by March to the RFI.

The agency is looking for a system that can be enhanced to play an offensive role in the future. It has to be a fusion of space surveillance data available from various sources into a common operating picture (COP) to better evaluate threats and to maximize the effectiveness of Indian operations in space, land, sea, and air domains.

The RFI mentions that DSA is looking for a technology, which can perform tasks on ‘neighborhood watch screenings’ and analysis. The neighborhood watch is a program, which provides a detailed perspective on space activities.

The technology required should be able to predict threats from anti-satellite weapons (ASAT), space debris, direct energy weapons, and radio frequency interference.

Apart from modernizing the military on land, air, and water, it has become vital to prepare for defense in space. Experts have pointed out that with countries like the US, China, Russia setting up arms separate military wings for space warfare, India should also step up efforts in that direction.

In 2019, India had conducted an anti-satellite weapon test, code-named ‘Mission Shakti’. The program that included a missile-based system to attack moving satellites was jointly undertaken by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Anti-satellite (ASAT) System.

Even though the test was criticized by US space agency NASA, India had undertaken the mission to showcase its capabilities in space defense. China and the US have already conducted such test missions.

China has been acquiring technologies to strengthen its space capabilities to limit or prevent an adversary’s use of space-based assets during crisis or conflict.

The People’s Liberation Army has been acquiring and developing technologies including kinetic-kill missiles, ground-based lasers, and orbiting space robots, as well as expanding space surveillance capabilities, which can monitor objects in space within their field of view and enable actions.

It is also undertaking the production of electronic warfare capabilities such as satellite jammers, offensive cyber capabilities, and directed-energy weapons.

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