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Three Services to have Joint Cyber, Space & Special Forces Teams

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has informed top military commanders that creation of three new joint structures to meet future warfare needs has been given a go-ahead. The new divisions will bring together Army, Air Force and Navy’s personnel and assets on a single platform. Sources told ET that PM Modi informed top officers at the combined commanders’ conference last week that cyber, space and Special Forces joint structures have been given a green signal.

These are initially expected to start off as divisions led by two-star officers and could later be turned into larger commands. While the space and cyber commands have been in the works for a while and there has been unanimity on their creation, there were differences on a joint Special Forces structure.

However, the government has now decided on a Special Forces cell that will include commandoes from the three services. This could significantly upgrade India’s abilities to carry out covert operations across borders as it would combine assets of the Marcos (Navy), Garuds (Air Force) and Para Special Forces (Army). The Special Forces division is likely to be headed by an Army officer.

The other two structures for combating cyber and space threats could have rotational heads from the services. The Air Force already has a directorate that looks at exploiting the space domain, but India has officially taken a stand against weaponisation of space. While space-based sensors are in use, scientists have been restrained from developing or demonstrating anti-satellite weapons like the ones showcased by the US and China.

Indian missile experts are certain that they can develop a system to accurately take down orbiting satellite. On the cyber front, the three services follow different structures at present, but the Navy seems to have a lead in tackling the threat. A restructuring of the procurement procedure within the defence ministry by creating new posts and structures in Defence Procurement Organisation is also being proposed. The plan is to replace the current scattered form of decision making with a single entity.

Source: The Economic Times