The GSAT 7B and India’s other military satellites?
Why in the news?
- Recently, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by the Defence Minister cleared the Approval for procurement of a GSAT 7B satellite, along with equipment like Night Sight (image intensifier), 4X4 light vehicles, and Air Defence Fire Control Radar (light).
What are the GSAT 7 series satellites?
- GSAT 7 satellites are advanced satellites developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to meet the communication needs of the defence services.
- The GSAT 7 satellite was launched in 2013 from an Ariane 5 ECA rocket in French Guiana.
- It is a 2,650 kg satellite which has a footprint of nearly 2,000 nautical miles in the Indian Ocean region.
- This satellite is mainly used by the Indian Navy for its communication needs.
- The GSAT 7 provides a gamut of services for military communication needs, which includes low bit voice rate to high bit rate data facilities, including multi-band communications. Named Rukmini, the satellite carries payloads in UHF, C-band and Ku-band, and helps the Navy to have a secure, real time communication link between its land establishments, surface ships, submarines and aircraft.
- The satellite was injected into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) of 249 km perigee (nearest point to earth), 35,929 km apogee (farthest point to earth) and an inclination of 3.5 degree with respect to the equator.
What will be the role of the GSAT 7B satellite?
- The GSAT 7B will primarily fulfill the communication needs of the Army. Currently, the Army is using 30 percent of the communication capabilities of the GSAT 7A satellite, which has been designed for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
- The GSAT 7B will also help the Army enhance its surveillance in border areas.
What is the role of the GSAT 7A satellite, which is already operational?
- The GSAT 7A was launched in 2018 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, and has gone a long way in boosting the connectivity between the ground radar stations, airbases and the airborne early warning and control aircraft (AEW&C) of the IAF.
- It also helps in satellite controlled operations of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) which gives a great deal of reliability to the operations as compared to ground controlled operations.
- A GSAT 7C satellite is on the cards for the IAF, and a proposal to this effect was cleared by the DAC in 2021. This satellite would facilitate real time communication with IAF’s software defined radio communication sets.
What other kinds of military satellites does India have?
- An Electromagnetic Intelligence Gathering Satellite (EMISAT), developed by ISRO, was launched in April 2020 through a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C45).
- It has an Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) package called Kautilya, which allows the interception of ground-based radar and also carries out electronic surveillance across India..
- India also has a RISAT 2BR1 synthetic aperture radar imaging satellite, which was launched in December 2019 from Sriharikota.
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