India should acquire space weaponisation capability: Minister

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Bangalore, Feb 14 (UNI) Notwithstanding India's opposition to weaponisation of space as a policy, it will be ''foolish'' not to acquire the capability in the wake of the geo-political situation, Union Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju opined today.

Speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of the International Flight Test Seminar, organised by the Aircraft and System Testing Establishment (ASTE) here, he said ''India, as a policy, is against weaponisation of the space. However, going by the geo-political situation, it will be foolish if we do not build the capability. It doesn't mean that we are going to use it.'' The Minister said what China was doing in the space was not really a concern for India, but the country should take note of what it was capable of doing in space, as it was in the same geographical neighbourhood.

Earlier, speaking at the seminar, Mr Raju said one of the great challenges facing the Indian Air Force was transforming itself into an aerospace power.

Space systems had become an integral part of the overall military capability of a nation and satellites played an important role in intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and communications, he said.

''India has adequate capability in space technology, which is being exploited efficiently for civil application. However, to meet geo-political challenges, we should develop the capabilities of exploiting space for military applications as well,'' he said.

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