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  • Need of the Hour: A Regulatory Framework for the Military Use of Outer Space

    Paper number



    Mr. Sreekumar Panicker Kodiyath, India


    Mr. Vinayak Pratap.K.S., India



    The militarization of outer space by the states which has been ceaselessly continuing since the early 1920s after the First World War with research on rocket technologies for military purposes, has now reached critical limits with the recent resurrection of the Anti Satellite Weapons Programmes by various Space Faring nations. The general outcry for a movement against the militarization of outer space has been of no avail since long from the days of V2 Rockets, throughout the cold war era and the present ASAT Times. Besides the ASAT Programmes, almost all of the space faring nations, regardless of the rights of the other states, continues to pursue spying activities employing Remote Sensing Satellites. There race to develop Network Centric Warfare is also on. Proposed treaties and other instruments on the prevention of Military use of outer space have hitherto received least enthusiasm from the states concerned with only the NGOs and some non space faring nations supporting such moves. The entire space faring nations exhibit a perilous tendency to adopt a double edged space policy of employing space based technologies for Military purposes in practice and condemning such moves by other states. The pressures on the other space faring nations with ASAT capabilities to develop and test Anti Satellite weapons are mounting. The recent Anti Satellite Tests by People’s Republic of China and the destruction of its own rogue satellite by The  United States of America is critically analyzed with due regard to the claims and justifications of both the states. This escalating irreversible tendency among the states to extend the military power of themselves to the space, calls for the need of a broad regulatory framework on the proper military use by the states. The paper comprehensively analyses the history of the military use of outer space and various international instruments of the past and their efficiency. It further, critically examines the space policies and activities of major space faring nations with focus on the recent developments in this sphere. The paper concludes with comprehensive suggestions for the need of a regulatory framework analogous to the London Declaration on the Laws of Naval War, Hague Conventions of 1899, 1907 and 1923 (On Ariel Warfare).
    Abstract document


    Manuscript document

    IAC-08.E8.3.10.pdf (🔒 authorized access only).

    To get the manuscript, please contact IAF Secretariat.