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Aero India 2023

Holes in Outer Space Treaty should be plugged: Ex-IAF Chief


NEW DELHI (PTI): Underlining the need for plugging holes in the Outer Space Treaty, former IAF Chief Air Chief marshal S Krishnaswamy has called for a stronger United Nations policing to prevent space from being used to attack targets.

"India would like to appeal to international community to see that the holes (in Outer Space Treaty) must be plugged.

We also need a strong policing force in the UN. If somebody crosses the line, we need to bring down quickly," Krishnaswamy said here.

The former IAF chief was addressing a conference on 'Space, Science and Security: The Role of Regional Expert Discussion'.

Krishnaswamy said some gaps have been left in the treaty by its authors “and probably with a sense of purpose.

After all, law is very clever."

He said the treaty implicitly allows certain things for military activity, including transit of nuclear weapons like ICBM and IRBM and non-WMD, non-nuclear weapons can be used from space on targets in space or in space itself.

The former Service chief said the treaty also allows testing of all weapons in space and floating military bases.

And also, there is no ban on anti-satellite, anti-missile weapons as the treaty says outer space is free for all nation states.

"We all should get together and work for peaceful use of space. If something bad (from space) happens, it will be devastating. Indeed, the earth will burn of," he added.

Observing that India was living in a very difficult environment, he said, "The country needs a good space programme which is imaginative, special and that takes care of all our defence needs."

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