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Space will cast its influence on air, maritime and land domains: Chief of defence staff

NEW DELHI (PTI): Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Anil Chauhan has said he believes that space is already an established domain of warfare and it will "cast its influence" on air, maritime and land domains.

In a recorded video address that was played at the inaugural session of the three-day Indian Defence Space Symposium in Delhi on Thursday, General Chauhan also said that "space diplomacy" will soon become a reality.

Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Chairman Samir V Kamat and other senior officers of the armed forces attended the event held at the Manekshaw Centre here.

In his address, General Chauhan underlined the role of space evolving in future warfare.

"I will touch upon where we are and where we need to go," he said.

"Space is called the final frontier. Space is infinite in its expanse and is also expanding. Like all other frontiers, it is difficult to define its edges very clearly. Mankind has a long way to go to unravel the mystery of space. India wants to be part of that journey," the CDS said.

He also spoke about the four "cosmonauts under training" as part of India's "Gaganyaan" programme.

"Space is also referred to as an emerging domain of warfare. I believe that it is already an established domain of warfare. My belief is premised on the fast-paced development occurring in this particular domain," he said.

General Chauhan said the history of warfare has "taught us that in any war, the initial contest generally occurs in a new domain".

The new domain also influences the battles in older domains, he added.

"Initially, the naval power was able to influence battles on land. Later, air power influenced war at land and seas. It is my belief that now, space will cast its influence on air, maritime and land domains," General Chauhan said in his video address.

Terming space a "global commons", he said there can be "no concept of sovereignty in space".

The CDS also said "space diplomacy will soon become a reality".

One does not have to be a neighbour to extend cooperation in space to friendly nations. Distances and geopolitical separations might be of "advantage in defence space cooperation", he added.

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