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Space weapons are weapons which used in space warfare. space weapons may be different types like anti-satellite missile, laser devises and electronic devises which can block the communication of enemies with their satellites. 
Anti satellite missile (ASAT) used to destroy or incapacitate the military satellite. Several nations tested successfully ASAT missile test like US, Russia, China and India although yet no ASAT used in military warfare. 
Space weapons are basically two types-
1.Electronic weapons(Soft kill)- i. Electronic signal jammer ii. Lessor energy weapons
2. Hard kill weapons- i. Kinetic energy weapons(ballistic missiles) ii. Earth or Co-orbital based missiles

Why India need it-

India's largest neighbor china had completed the it's first ASAT test on Jan 2007, in which they destroy a own satellite at 863 km altitude. while India got this achievement in 2019 by mission SHAKTI, when the double stage Ballistic missile destroyed a idle satellite at altitude 283 km (Maximum capability 1000 km).

Whereas Russia did it in 1963 and US completed it in 1985.As we have seen India is still lagging behind in many of the other space weapons developments, just as China has also tested soft kills weapons for indian military satellite and Recently in 2020, Russia has also successfully completed a co-orbital ASAT test.
Space Weapons becomes very important in future Warfare technology. China  can easily destroy indian military satellite by it's co-orbital anti-satellite or anticipatory ballistic missile in war situation. At a such time, India will lose without fighting a war.

Comparison with china in Space warfare-
  • In Jan, 2007 china successfully destroyed it's own idle weather satellite, FY-1C at altitude 863 km whereas India conducted first ASAT exercise in 2019 on just 283 km altitude.
  • In 2013, china tested the SC-19 ASAT system that can hit 24 targets in single time in Geo stationary orbit( altitude more than 36000 km) but India still not having multi target ASAT technology capability in LEO and GEO both.
  • In 2015 china tested Dong Neng-3 anti satellite missile, which is ASAT capable in low Earth orbit satellite.
  • Experts believe that india have electronic-warfare capabilities, as well as DEWs such as lasers and microwave based weapons that can help mitigate our weapons but it's not have capabilities to neutralise Chinese electronic weapons threats but electronics weapons will loose offensive capabilities if china destroy our four IRNSS satellites.
Concerns for India-
  • China has been conducting ASAT test extensively and Govt invest much more capital compare to India.
  • According to the Space experts, China has capabilities to hit the indian regional navigation spacecraft satellite(IRNSS) in geosynchronous orbit(GEO). There are 8 satellites in IRNSS, In case, China destroy 4 satellites out of IRNSS then Indian military and intelligence agencies wouldn't work in such situations.
  • Chinese military have cyber weapons to attack space assets, co-orbital attack capabilities and kinetic weapons from both earth to space and air( by aircraft) to space.
  • In light of china expertise, India cannot afford to confine itself to passive means of defending against china space assets and infrastructure, India should be invest more in its space technology like USA doing. India can  respond china by collaborate with USA and the European Union.
    Image : Space weapons and budget Comparison between various nations space organisations
What does India doing to counter china-
DRDO and ISRO consulted and working together to avoid the China's Space threats. Working together to making India's satellite resilient against electromagnetic pulse(EMP), cyber attacks and distant early warning(DEW) from. DEW can be two types I. High-powered microwaves(HPMs) II. High energy lasers(HELs).

  • According to experts for counter china in space warfare India needs kinetic energy weapons(KEW) triad (ground, sea, air). As of 2020, India has land ASAT technology but not sea-based and air launched capabilities. Similarly India needs to develop co-orbital attack capability.
  • The ISRO
  • India needs to increase ISRO budget to move forward in space warfare technology, to meet the demands of credible counter space strategy and compete space exploration with other nations.
  • India needs to develop own GPS system which can work globally. NAVIK GPS system primary service area is India and expandable upto 1500 km from Indian boundary. In war, military needs location of enemy weapons to counter them and it's totally works on satellite navigation system. Probably India depends on US GPS in war but as we know that during the Kargil war(1999) US refused to gave locations of Pakistani soldiers and weapons. Due to this India suffered heavy losses.
  •  American NAVSTAR GPS  have 31+ satellites, China's Biudu have 35+ satellites and Russian GLONASS GPS  have 24+ satellites to Navigate whole world and all these GPS operational globally while Indian GPS just working on 8 satellite so can't navigate worldwide.

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