Gen Anil Chauhan Calls for Building Highly Capable Aatmanirbhar Defence Space Ecosystem at DEFSAT 2024 Inauguration

Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan emphasised the importance of building a robust Aatmanirbhar defence space ecosystem during the inauguration of ‘DEFSAT’, a three-day Space Seminar and Exhibition held at the Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantt on Feb 7, 2024. Gen Anil Chauhan highlighted that as the country progresses through Amrit Kaal, it is imperative to set ambitious targets for the nation, particularly in space augmentation and exploration.


Recognizing the significance of space for mankind and its role in enhancing combat capabilities for the armed forces, CDS Gen Anil Chauhan stressed that space can serve as a force multiplier across traditional domains of land, air, sea, and cyber. He urged all stakeholders within the defence space ecosystem to focus on strengthening Counter-Space capabilities as a deterrent to safeguard the country’s space assets.


Gen Anil Chauhan also mentioned the Government’s major initiatives to leverage space for strengthening armed forces capabilities, including the Mission DefSpace 2022 under the iDEX initiative, which encompasses 75 space-related challenges. He highlighted that several contracts have been signed under this initiative, with additional ones in progress, along with feasibility studies for Make-I challenges.


The CDS underscored the Government’s support for fostering a dependable space ecosystem within the nation, particularly for startups. He noted the significant growth in the space sector, with the number of startups increasing from one in 2014 to 204 in 2023. Additionally, he highlighted the substantial investments in the sector, reaching USD 123 million in 2023, totalling USD 380.25 million.


Highlighting the potential of the Indian space economy, Gen Anil Chauhan mentioned that it is currently estimated to be around USD 8.4 billion and is expected to grow to USD 44 billion by 2033. He credited government initiatives such as the Seed Fund Scheme, 0% GST regime, and technology transfer for providing support to the private industry, fostering growth and innovation.


The CDS inaugurated an exhibition showcasing technological advances made by private space industry partners, demonstrating their contributions to the space sector.


The seminar, organized by CENJOWS and Satcom Industry Association – India (SIA), aims to promote coordination and synergy between civil, commercial, and defence space programs, crucial for leveraging the dual-use nature of the space sector.



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