The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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IAF clears space air

New Delhi, Oct. 31: The Indian Air Force has said it was using platforms in space for communications and information/intelligence gathering and not to fire weapons.

The air force’s statement comes in the wake of concerns in the West over the possibility of a creation of an Indian Aerospace Command and the gradual militarisation of space technology over the subcontinent.

“We are prepared to use space for our own efficiency and projection in future use. They will be used for command and control and not for weapons delivery,” Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy said here. He was speaking after an IAF commanders’ conference.

The IAF chief said India had observed the use of space technology during military operations by the Americans in Iraq.

The West had expressed concerns over an Indian aerospace command that would operate by using laser weapons and high altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

The air chief has earlier said India was assessing the move to space technology in advanced countries that are using laser weapons platforms.

The air chief’s statement today is aimed at telling the West that an Indian aerospace command would be restricted to intelligence gathering. “India is at the very beginning of exploration of understanding of space,” he said. “It will observe international rules and regulations and understanding. We believe the IAF is better prepared to understand space.”

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