By SM.19 Dec, 2018
SRIHARIKOTA: ISRO"s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV-F11 lifter off from here Wednesday carrying India"s geostationary communication satellite GSAT-7A. The launch is important for the Indian Air Force as the GSAT-7A will substantially enhance its communication systems. The satellite will help the IAF to interlink ground radar stations, airbases and Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft. The GSAT-7A satellite may also control the IAF"s unmanned aerial vehicles and drones and boost the global operations of the Air Force as well as drone operations.
At 4.10 pm the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark II, numbered GSLV-F11, by the Indian space agency, rose into the sky with a deep-throated growl, breaking free of its shackles.
The rocket rapidly rushed towards the blue skies with a thick orange flame at its tail. The rocket will sling the GSAT-7A, weighing 2,250 kg, that would beef up the communication capabilities of the Indian Air Force (IAF) over its eight-year life span.
The GSLV is a three-stage/engine rocket. The core of first stage is fired with solid fuel while the four strap-on motors by liquid fuel. The second is the liquid fuel and the third is the cryogenic engine.
Meanwhile, the Indian space agency is facing an increased demand for strategic satellites.
"There is increased demand for satellites from strategic sectors. About six/seven satellites are planned to be built," a senior official of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told IANS, preferring anonymity.
The seventh launch of 2018 from Sriharikota marks the 69th mission of GSLV-F11 for ISRO.
The communication satellite will enable the Indian Air Force (IAF) to interlink different ground radar stations, airbases and AWACS aircraft.
Gsat-7A will not only interlink all airbases, but it will also boost drone operations.
It will boost the air force’s network-centric warfare capabilities and enhance its global operations.
What is the need to launch a dedicated satellite for IAF?
Once GSLV-F11 (GSLV Mk II) rocket launches Gsat-7A satellite from the second launchpad at Sriharikota at 4.10 pm on Wednesday in the geo orbit, the communication satellite will enable the Indian Air Force (IAF) to interlink different ground radar stations, airbases and AWACS aircraft. It will boost the air force’s network-centric warfare capabilities and enhance its global operations.
Why is Gsat-7A important for IAF?
Gsat-7A will not only interlink all airbases, but it will also boost drone operations as it will help the force upgrade from existing ground control stations to satellite-control of military unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The transition will boost the range, endurance and flexibility of UAVs. This comes at a time when India is in the process of acquiring American armed Predator-B or Sea Guardian drones, which are high-altitde and long endurance satellite-controlled UAVs that can fire at enemy targets from long distances.
What are the features of Gsat-7A?
Costing around Rs 500-800 crore, the communication satellite is configured on the standard 1-2K Bus with bi-propellant chemical propulsion system for orbit rasing and in-orbit maintenance. Its four solar panels are capable of generating around 3.3 kilowatts of electrical power.
How many dedicated communication satellites Isro has launched for the military?
Before the scheduled launch of Gsat-7A, Isro had launched Gsat-7, also called ‘Rukmini’, on September 29, 2013 exclusively for the Navy. ‘Rukmini’ has helped the Navy monitor the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) as the satellite has a nearly 2,000 nautical mile ‘footprint’ and provides real-time inputs to Indian warships, submarines and maritime aircraft. The IAF is also likely to get another satellite Gsat-7C, within a few years that will boost its network-centric operations.
What are the space assets of our Indian military?
India currently possesses around 13 military satellites. Most of these remote-sensing satellites like Cartosat-series and Risat satellites are placed in the near-earth orbit which help in better scanning of the earth. However, some of these military satellites have also been put in the geo orbit. The forces use these satellites for surveillance, navigation and communication purpose. The remote sensing satellites had also helped the military in the surgical strike against Pakistan to destroy terror launchpads.
How many military satellites are there in the world?
Currently, there are 320 military satellites orbiting the earth, with the US owning half of them, followed by Russia and China. Of late, China, considered to be India’s biggest rival, has taken huge strides in developing military assets in space, testing even ASAT (anti-satellite) weapons against “low-earth satellites” in January 2017.