The Indonesian air force wants a global ban on space-based weapons systems.

Speaking at the Millennium Air Power Conference, held in conjunction with the Asian Aerospace show, deputy chief of air staff Air Vice Marshal Zeky Ambadar told international air force and industry chiefs: "Before space becomes an arena for the arms race, before putting weapons in space becomes a good alternative for many countries, the world needs to come to an agreement clearly and strongly banning space-based weapons."

Ambadar says agreements on space usage, such as the 1945 UN Charter, the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems treaty and the 1979 Moon Agreement, are not universally recognised and contain loopholes which can be exploited for weapons use. He says no clear border has been defined at which Air Law ends and Space Law comes into force.

Other senior conference delegates supported the Indonesian position. "It needs to be debated," says Indian air force chief Air Chief Marshal Anil Yashwant Tipnis. US Pacific Air Forces Cdr Gen Patrick Gamble said these are "certainly" legitimate concerns, which "will be debated at a very high political level internationally".

Source: Flight International