Indian Military SatellitesDefense Industry Daily reports on India's efforts to develop an indigenous military satellite program:
India is building up a satellite-based Military Surveillance and Reconnaissance System that will become operational by 2007, allowing it to keep watch on developments in its area. "The program is in the advanced stages of development and is planned to be operational by 2007," Indian Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in Parliament recently...India has not launched any explicitly military satellites to date and the government remains tight-lipped, but experts believe the country has several options...
While many eyes are on China (see US DoD Ponders China Threat), the expansion of the Indian military is a story that is at least as significant in terms of the balance of power in Asia (see Indian Defense Budget Rises 7.8%, to $19B). Like China, the Indian economy is growing and as a result there is more money to be invested in defense. Rather than signaling an arms race, this seems to be a rational outgrowth of powerful nations who are getting their houses in order. Both India and China are faced with regional challenges that in the past have produced armed clashes and even conflict: Pakistan for India, and China's maritime "near abroad."
Space is another sort of near abroad that rising military powers will naturally want to exploit, if not dominate. For top-tier nations, military satellites perform essential duties in the areas of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); communications; and, increasingly, targeting. In general, space-based military assets have either been tolerated by or beyond the reach of potential opponents. However, as the number of nations with a stake in the high frontier increases, it is just a matter of time before freedom of navigation in space in wartime goes the way of freedom of the high seas (see Is Space Weaponization Inevitable?).
UPDATE: It is interesting to note this article from Scotsman.com about how India and China have resolved their border dispute in the Himalayan Nathu La pass left over from the 1962 war.
Source: The Command Post.