Space security and missile defence

Towards greater pragmatism

Authored by: Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

Handbook of Indian Defence Policy

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138939608
eBook ISBN: 9781315674742
Adobe ISBN: 9781317380092


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As India has become a more consequential player in global politics, its approach to key issues of international security has come under greater scrutiny. At the same time, its approach on security issues has also become much more pragmatic rather than ideological, as it often was in the early decades of independence. India’s policies towards missile defences and space security issues are a good illustration. In both cases, changing security dynamics have forced India to change its traditional policies. India had traditionally opposed ballistic missile defence programmes, such as the US Star Wars and opposed any militarisation of outer space. But the spread of ballistic missile technologies (especially to Pakistan) and recognition of the increasing militarisation of outer space (especially Chinese anti-satellite (ASAT) tests) have forced some changes in Indian attitudes. India is developing its own missile defence systems and changing its space policy – both dramatic reversals of traditional Indian policy.

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