Beijing, February 20 (The Hindu): China is clinically analysing the successful and cost-effective launch of 104 satellites in one go by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), as well as the outcome of the Aero-India show, with some media reports acknowledging that New Delhi may out-compete Beijing in the commercial space-launch business.
An op-ed in the Global Times on Monday highlighted that India’s successful record-breaking satellite launch could serve as a “wake-up call” for China’s commercial space industry.
The article diagnosed China’s inability to access components and parts from the U.S. as part of the problem. Consequently, China had to step up independent research and indigenous manufacturing in order to by-pass the U.S. restrictions. China also has to cut down costs, as it is likely to target price-sensitive customers in the developing countries.
On the contrary, of the 104 satellites that were launched by ISRO, 96 belonged to the U.S. “The South Asian nation’s achievements are largely driven by its low price advantage, a weak point for China’s commercial space sector,” the article observed.
It added: “Competition with India for commercial space launches may be inevitable, and the most urgent action needed for China to expand its market share is to reduce the cost of putting satellites into orbit.”
Separately, the website chinamil.com.cn affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), noted that simultaneously, the Indian aviation industry was also undergoing a rapid transition, focusing on military exports, and technologically upgrading itself through joint ventures.
Commenting on the Aero-India show that concluded in Bangalore last week, the website said: “We observed that this year’s Aero India kept a very low profile in arms purchase and Indian Defence Ministry didn’t sign any official agreement with foreign arms dealers.”
On the contrary, Indian arms dealers leveraged the exhibition to tap the overseas defence market. “The Astra air-to-air missile, Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher and Rustom UAV independently developed by India were popular among foreign clients,” it observed. The write-up noted that India has also made progress on aircraft and vessel
technology transfer. It quoted Christopher, head of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), as saying, that India will export advanced light torpedo worth $21 million, which also involves transfer of technology. The article pointed out that India’s Reliance Defence has signed an agreement with the U.S. Navy on vessel repair and retrofitting services.
The pursuit of joint ventures has improved the quality of Indian military equipment. During the show, India’s Kalyani Strategic Systems Ltd. (KSSL) has signed an agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).The two sides will work together on the Barak-8 air-defence missile. ×
Raytheon of the U.S. has also signed a MoU with a subsidiary of the Tata’s to jointly produce parts of the Stinger ground-to-air missile in India.
(The featured picture shows the launch of 104 satellites in one go from Sriharikota north of Chennai)