Implicatons Of India And Pakistan Space Program Information Technology Essay

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Discuss and explain the development of Pakistans space program in relation to Indian space program. Also explain the impact of space program on the strategic forces of both the countries?. How would the arms race in space between India and Pakistan would affect the international environment?


In 1963 India started its space program. According to the report of the Department of Space the basic application objectives of the Indian Space Programme can be summed up as Satellite Communications and Resources Survey. All other activities like research and development of satellite and launch vehicle technologies, etc., are designed to contribute towards achieving the above goals.1

Objectives of Space Program:

.The main objectives of Indian space program are as follows:

Satellite based communication for various applications such as telecommunication, TV, search and rescue, tele-education, tele-medicine etc.;

Satellite-based remote sensing for resource survey, management, defence, security and environmental monitoring;

Meteorological applications; and

Development and operationalization of indigenous satellite and launch vehicles for providing space services.

The Indian's space program has been planned for civilian benefit, even though their growth has been rein- forced by arguments that emphasize the need to maintain the military options available through them. The Indian Space Research Organization is the largest and most successful groups of scientists and technocrats of Indian's space program.

Almost 16 years after independence and seven years after the satellite launch in the world, former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru set up a committee, called the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR). In the beginning committee set up a various centres but with no clear agenda or direction in mind. Dr Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai was an Indian physicist and considered to be the father of the Indian space program. He convinced the government about the importance of a space programme and its application for a developing country like Indian mind. A positive step was taken field of space technology in 1963, when a sounding rocket range was made operational in Thumba. In 1965 the Space Science and technology centre for research and development was also set up in Thumba.

1 (Report: ig80-8i, Department of Space, Government of India, p. 8.)

After the establishment of India's space committee ,there was no development in its space programme and showed no result for 12 years. In march 19, 1975, India launched its first scientific satellite Arybhatta, from a launching pad in USSR. In the early years the development of Indian space program is very slow because the country did not even have a separate overseeing body for nine years after launching its space program in 1961. Department of space was setup in 1972, before this all space institutes worked under the control of the Department of Atomic Energy.

But if we look towards the achievements of Indian space program, we can see that India is now close to perfecting the polar satellites launch vehicle(PSLV). It is already looking towards a geosynchronous satellites launch vehicle (GSLV) in the coming years with far greater confidence. The INSAT series of multipurpose satellites and IRS series of remote sensing civilian satellites in both classes are also well on their way to a launch in the next couple of years.

Besides, the country has successfully adapted its peaceful space programme. For its defence requirements with a moderately successful missile programme. The progress in defence developments took a quantum leap with the successful fabrication and launch of the Agni missile - an intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM). The successful PSLV launch on March 21, 1996, could give the country the capability to launch an Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) at a later date. Besides, with time indigenous fabrication and launches will become more cost effective when compared to launches from either France, Russia, China or the US in the centre are the programme planning and evaluation group reliability group, indigenisation and component group and computers and information group. The centre has set up elaborate spacecraft integration and test facilities. The technical physics division at ISAC conducts activities related to space science research.

The Laboratory for Electro-optic sensors (LEOS) works under the umbrella of ISAC. The projects are organised with identified teams participating in the developmental tasks at subsystem/system levels.

Liquide propulsion system centre (LPSC);

LPSC is responsible of development of liquid and cryogenic propulsion stages for launch vehicle and auxiliary propulsion systems for both launch vehicles and satellites. These test facilities are located at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu. Satellite propulsion and precision transducer fabrication facilities are located at Bangalore.

Space Applications Centre (SAC);

Basically SAC, Ahmadabad, has the responsibility for conducting space application research and development. The centre has two main areas of R&D, namely, satellite communication and remote sensing including microwave remote sensing. The centre has set up facilities, environmental test facilities, besides programme planning and evolution and, reliability and quality assurance. SAC also operates the Delhi Earth Station for satellite communication.

Development and Educational Communication Unit (DECU);

DECU Ahmadabad, is involved in the conception, definition planning and socioeconomic evaluation of space application programmes. The primary functions are planning and policy studies on the present and emerging applications of space technology; ii) production of video programmes in the spheres of education and development; iii) training of TV programme production personnel and transfer of expertise through workshops, documentation, consultancy, etc and iv) social science research on the society-technology interface.

ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC);

ISTRAC has the prime responsibility to provide mission support to launch vehicle mission and near-earth satellites. ISTRAC is organised with its Headquarters at Bangalore and has separate groups for the overall coordination, programme planning and evolution, quality assurance, frequency management and administrative support function. The main activities include network operations including operation and maintenance of Telemetry Tracking stations, spacecraft operations including scheduling and control of spacecraft operations, in-orbit operations support and interaction with play load data users, operation of the local user Terminal/Mission Control Centre (LUT/MCC) under the international satellite-Aided Search and Rescue Programme, advanced planning and analysis for network planning and studies on future ISRO mission requirements; network expansion, mechanical engineering services, etc . A leaser and optical tracking facility is also operated by ISTRAC as Kavalla in Tamil Nadu.

In sat Master Control Facility (MCF);

MCF located at Hassan in Karnataka is responsible for all the post-launch operations of INSAT satellites including orbit manoeuvres, station keeping and on-orbit operation of the spacecraft

Indian Inertial System Unit (IISU);

IISU, Thiruvananthapuram, is engaged in research and development related to

inertial sensor and system used both in satellite and launch vehicles. IISU is organised into research and development divisions in the field of navigations systems, satellite inertial system, bearing and space technologys and, inertial systems integration and simulation. Sophisticated facilities for precision fabrication, assembly in clear room, integration and testing have been established. A beryllium machining facility is operated by IISU through the Department of Atomic Energy at new Bombay.

National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA);

NRSA at Hyderabad is an autonomous institution supported by the Department

Of space. The agency is responsible for acquisition and archiving data from remote sensing satellites. NRSA has set up the satellite earth station at Shad agar near Hyderabad for the reception of data from IRS-1B, US Land set and NOAA (National Ocean & atmospheric Administration, USA), French SPOT and Microwave data from the European remote sensing Satellite (ERC). The Indian Institute of remote sensing at Dehra Dun also functions under NRSA. NRSA supplies a number of remote sensing data products to various users in the country. It is also engaged in various application projects in collaboration with the users. These include mapping of saline/alkaline soils, urban sprawl mapping, drought monitoring, flood mapping, land use mapping, flood mapping, etc

Military significance of Indian space program:

Pursuit of missile defence system has direct implications on nature of space program. If closely watched, the repeated shift in Indian postureon missile defence shows that its space program has a military dimension. Contrary to the mixed positions that Indian leadership overtly takes, India's interest in missile defence dates back several years, though the main focus is on Theatre Missile Defence (TMD). Indian interest has for several years revolved around developments relating to missile defence in its own strategic context [1] and in India US national missile defence (NMD) is seen as directly affecting its national security in different ways. India perceives threat from to its homeland from short-range and intermediate-range missiles.1

India's expertise in launch vehicle technology can easily be transfer to produce intermediate Ballistic Missiles (IBRM) and intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM). The potential for this exists and is universally acknowledged. Agni is already a technology demonstrator for the IRBM class of Missiles. The PSLV can easily be converted into an ICBM. The issue is not of capability bit of intent and political will. It is also issue of being able to withstand pressure from the USA and G-7 countries. If past experience is any guide, India will restrain itself, like on the nuclear issue when it did not follow-up militarily after exploding its nuclear device 20 years ago. Also it would no make commercial sense to freeze the space programme without cashing on the military aspects.

India's indigenous missile programme was launched in 1983 under the integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). Initially it had a budget of around Rs 400 crore, but it is now expected to be in the range of nearly Rs 800 crore. The major programmes under the IGMDP are the development of the following missiles: Agni, Prithvi, Akash, Trishul and the Nag. The IGMDP programme is coordinated by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Agni: Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM)

Agni was first test on May 22, 1989, two years after the project was mooted. The first test flight in 1989 was a success. The second in 1992 failed.

On February 1994, in its third flight from interim Test Range at Chandipur Orissa, the twenty one metres long missile with a range of 2500 km, and with a take off weight of 19 tonnes and pay load capacity of one tonne, blasted off perfectly. The lift off and the re-entry were as per specifications. Scientists however feel that the heat shield test for re-entry needs further fine tuning; there is also need to put more stress to reduce Circular Error Probability for better accuracy of the payload. The missile is therefore, being upgraded to Agni Plus.

Strategic implication of Agni & PSLV.

For India, Agni represents a quantum leap in strategic capability. Already, with the Pokharan explosion of 1974, India had demonstrated its ability to make a nuclear bomb. In 1980, the SLV-3 rocket launched the country into the space age. All that was missing was the vital third leg of the strategic triangle a potent medium range ballistic missile capable of carrying a warhead over long distances. Agni is a state of the art missile capable of delivering an approximately one tonne weapons pay load to distance of 2500 km. The recent technology demonstration flight carried a dummy warhead of tungsten to a distance of just over 1000 km before splashing down in the target area in the Bay of Bengal. In strategic terms, Agni deployed operationally and with a conventional warhead, could destroy a major military installation anywhere in Pakistan, In fact in most of South Asia including Afghanistan, China. But of more vital is that it can reach major targets in southern and central China. Armed with a nuclear warhead, Agni and PSLV offer the potential to put India on par with china as far as military deterrence is concerned.

Agni & PSLV give India the confidence that it is capable of producing any kind of missile. India is now self sufficient both in design and missile technology. Agni and PSLV, the latter after its possible conversion into an ICBM, can also act as delivery system for a nuclear warhead with its attendant destructive potential. With the plutonium production in India's nuclear reactors and with the development of a number of Agni Missiles, India's deterrence factor can be multiplied enormously. And if the Indian government decides to produce nuclear warheads it has always maintained it has not done so the option is now clearly available. With India's satellite technology showing signs of reaching an advanced stage, Agni and the PSLV also offer the potential to put up a string of spy-in-the-sky military surveillance satellites which could keep every inch of enemy territory under constant observation. China already has the capability vis-à-vis India and it is logical to assume that it shares some of that information with Pakistan which also has access to the US satellite pictures. In that context, the success of Agni and PSLV will prove a major boost for India's space programme.

Objection by G-7 Countries.

Apart form the USA, G-7 countries have also cautioned India against developing and deploying the Agni and Prithvi missiles. India's top defence analyst Jasjit Singh is of the opinion that these countries, including USA are taking a lopsided view of the problem and therefore its solution. According to him it must able understood very clearly that ballistic missile are a factor of instability and a threat to India's security interests. Therefore it would be in India's interests to see that all such missiles (or at least those that are likely to place India within their range) are eliminated. But the problem is that China deployed its missiles more than two decades ago, and the Chinese supplied 2700 km range IRBMs to Saudi Arabia in 1988, and these have been upgraded recently. ICBMs and other missiles continue to be deployed in Central Asia. More than 500 ballistic missiles are estimated to be still in Afghanistan, and serious uncertainties exist about who control them. Pakistan is certainly likely to have access to them now with the ISI protégé as the Prime Minister if not during the past three odd years.

Pakistan in addition requires acquired Chinese made M-11 missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads and the US has confirmed that it has also acquired related technology. Pakistan's Hatf-1 and Hatf-2 have also increased India's securities worries. Pakistan has already demonstrated the 300 km range and Hatf-2 way back in 1989. It is also developing the 600 km range Hatf-3 missile. The international Institute of strategic studies London has already confirmed the deployment of Hatf-1 and Hatf-2 with the Pakistan Army.

Jasjit Singh argues that India's security concerns should not be equated with Pakistan's. The Chine factor as also the regional factor must be understood. According to him, one would like to understand the position of the western countries on how and why the deployment of Prithvi would have greater adverse effect on regional security than the deployment of Chinese Six missile armies with hundreds of Missiles, Israeli Missiles, the Saudi CSS-2 IRBMs or the F-16 and Jagur/Mirage-2000 aircrafts which carry more to greater ranges in strike roles?


The national space agency of Pakistan was established in 1961 and was granted the status of a commission in 1981. The name of Pakistan's national space agency is Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research commission (SUPARCO).The basic aim of SUPARCO is to research and development in the field of space technology and use their applications for peaceful purposes of outer space. This space institute is landmark to promote space applications for socio economic uplift of the country.

Pakistan's Satellite Development Program

Pakistan has developed three satellites so far: Badr-1, Badr-B and Paksat-1. Badr-1 was Pakistan's first indigenously developed satellite launched in 1990 on-board a communication package to demonstrate the technology. Badr-B was a indigenously built experimental satellite launched in December 2001. It has four experimental payloads on-board i.e. CCD camera, storage and forwarding experiment, dosimeter and battery-end-of-charge detection. Paksat-1 was a communication satellite, leased, relocated and parked at 380 East slot with the primary objective to protect the only slot left for Pakistan in space to safeguard it strategic interests. It has 30 C-and transponders on-board. Paksat-1R satellite will replace the existing Paksat-1 in 2010. Pakistan's national space agency signed a consulting deal with Telesat in March 2007 for advice on the purchase, manufacture and launch of the Paksat-1R satellite. Under the agreement Telesat will help the Pakistani agency find a manufacturer and provide technical and commercial advice during the negotiation process. Telesat will also help oversee the construction of the new satellite and monitor the launch and in-orbit testing services.


According to the Pakistan space program the first condition is the need to break up the missiles and their command as broadly as possible, and the other is to exclude illicit missile launches. From a centralised command and control system one single bomb might be knockout Pakistan's retaliatory strike if all launch resources are centralised. So Pakistan must need a space based detection, tracking and communication systems to prevent the clear strategic strike of India in future.

SBIRS Low will employ two sensors - one acquisition and one tracking sensor, operating in a variety of wavebands including short‑wave infrared, medium‑wave infrared, and long‑wave infrared and visible. SBIRS High would be responsible for launch detection and over‑the‑horizon tracking, providing the earliest flight estimate to command and control systems

Then Pakistan will absolutely go for spaced based infrared program that will be made up of satellites in high altitude and low altitude orbits. In a geo-synchronous orbit which is 36,600 km SBIRS high will consist of four satellites and two satellites in a highly elliptical orbit.SBIRS low is consist of 24 low earth orbiting satellites that would track enemy missiles in mid-flight after all motors have burnt out. 

            SBIRS Low would provide mid‑course tracking and discrimination capability in conjunction with the ground based early warning radars currently being upgraded and operated by US at Flying Dales Moor, England, Thule Air Station, Greenland, Beale Air Force Base, California, Cape Cod Air Force Station, Massachusetts and Clear Air Force Station, Alaska. The system is expected to be completed in five years starting 2006.

A country can work on its space program and make it so effective so that it can improve its national security. There are a number of factors which make the space program very important and effective also for Pakistan in near future so that it can enhance Pakistan national security. There are greater risks and competition which will change the international environment so these factors can arises from the changing of international security environment.

The evolution in warfare strategies and tactics where the asymmetric attacks and informational advantage are increasingly important and then there is a rapid change in pace of technology. This can makes military and intelligence services from space much easier to acquire. There are basically three principles at which countries are turning to their space programs for the enhancement of their national security.

1. The political prestige and international influence space activities.

2. The technological capabilities that space programs create or reinforce.

3. The information advantage space assets and services can bring to military and security operations and to strategic planning for security.

Pakistan in near future will use the satellites and space services to strength her national security and then some important benefits arise for its conventional and strategic forces. They are following benefits

The first is the space services are the force multiplier for conventional forces because it can improve the capabilities and routine. Second the intelligence collection and analysis for assessing threats and provide warnings can significantly expand from space services. From this the Pakistan military will become so capable that they conduct operations of military capable then collect intelligence plan their security and strategic functions. Thus then this effective use of space satellite services will give superior advantage over her adversary.

Then final and third objective of space services which Pakistan will attain is that the space program is an element of national power .So it can increase prestige and provide technological advantage which will expand Pakistan influence and leadership on the international stage.

Remote sensing satellite had provided targeting information and allowed coalition forces to assess battle damage. The specialized defence support program (DSP) satellites had the ability to provide warning, albeit very shot warning of Iraqi scud missiles launches.

The use of communication satellites allowed unparallel coordination between deployed U.S forces and Washington. Although for the campaign the receivers were in short supply but the signals from GPS satellites allowed coalition forces to navigate with precision in the desert and in the air. This could made Iraqi forces a very difficult condition that they were competing from their opponent with well-supplied space services for navigation, communication, remote sensing and with a superior communications network.

If Pakistan will enhance its space program and avail the advantage of space based assets then Pakistani forces will improve their military command control and communication, strategic and battlefield surveillance, weapons targeting and even perhaps their missile defences.

         The ground based radar technologies are also very helpful for conventional and air forces but the space based finding and tracking systems, communications and monitoring must need and very useful for effective command and control. There are two conflicting and opposing requirements which can create an impossibility of a safe command and control system.


In contrast with the Indian space program Pakistan space program is very slow. There are many loop holes in Pakistan space program and even at this time when technology has evolved so much and new space horizons have opened Pakistani government have done nothing to compete with Indian space program. There is lack of future planning in space technology and in 2005 former president Pervez Musharraf gave a vision to SUPARCO to enhance the space technology. India has developed its space program for its military and civil implications and going towards space woaponization but at the counter Pakistan don't pay attention towards this threat. we hope Pakistan will do better for its space program and at some way compete with India.


Starry Eyes or Serious Potential? - The Rise of India's Space Program Krishna Sutaria and Vibhuti Haté