On 17 August, APLN published a special report by Dr. Namrata Goswami, independent space expert. Dr. Goswami examines the risks of growing space-based weapons capabilities in countries across the Asia-Pacific, particularly those of China and India. She assesses the prospects of proliferation of space warfare capabilities, the institutional and legal regimes and constraints on space weaponization, worst-case militarization scenarios, and pathways for demilitarizing space.
Key findings include:
- China has one of the most ambitious space programs in the world, aiming to establish itself as a world leader in space by 2050 with an annual budget of approximately $8 billion for improving its space capabilities.
- India views space as part of its grand strategy to defend and expand its power with an independent space launch capacity, missions launched to the Moon and Mars, and an anti-satellite (ASAT) capability.
- DPRK has not yet demonstrated anti-satellite capabilities but has developed capacities which can be used to paralyze communications satellites in the case of skirmishes with adversaries.
- Japan has been developing advanced radar systems, space situational awareness satellites and satellite interceptors.
- Australia recently established a space program and the Australian Space Agency has a roadmap on securing Australian space assets.
- Pakistan is likely to utilize its relationship with China to develop its space capacity to deter and threaten its rival, India.