Nirmala Sitharaman Photo: PTI
Nirmala Sitharaman Photo: PTI

Defence Ministry plans to set up two units to handle space and cyber warfare

  • These units together demonstrate that India is evolving structures to counter new age threats
  • A.K. Dhingra was named the head of the special forces division on Wednesday that will comprise commandos drawn from the army

After announcing the setting up of a special forces division to combat threats posed by terrorism, the defence ministry has announced setting up of two separate units to handle space and cyber warfare. The three units together demonstrate that India is evolving structures to counter new age threats.

A report in the Times of India on Thursday said Rear Admiral Mohit Gupta would head the new defence cyber agency, while Air Marshal S.P. Dharkar would head the defence space agency. Major General A.K. Dhingra was named the head of the special forces division on Wednesday that will comprise commandos drawn from the army, navy and air force to take on the challenges posed by terrorism. The three new agencies are expected to become operational by Oct-Nov this year, the report said.

The cyber warfare centre aims to look at sharpening offensive capabilities while the space warfare centre — which is expected to come up in Bengaluru — will be looking at protecting India’s space assets including military satellites.

“The three new agencies are a small beginning to inject jointness and synergy among the Army, Navy and Air Force. In future they can grow into full fledged commands," the report quoted an official as saying.

India has only two unified commands till now — the Andaman and Nicobar command established in 2001 with units of the army, navy and the Air Force and the strategic forces command created in 2003 to handle the country’s nuclear arsenal.

But there are 17 single service commands which many experts believe are a waste of resources, the newspaper report said.

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