Defense and space #60

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How space research has augmented the capability of security forces in India?

Syllabus: GS-3- S&T

  • An exclusive satellite meant for the Indian Air Force, GSAT-7A was launched successfully from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) here on 19-12-2018

Background:

  • The GSAT-7A, along with the earlier GSAT-7 and GSAT-6, will form the band of communications satellite for use of the security forces.
  • Along with GSAT-7 and GSAT-6, this new satellite, dubbed the “Indian Angry Bird”, will form the band of communications satellite for use of Indian military.

Defense and Space:

  • The 2,250-kg military communications satellite GSAT-7A was launched on 19-12-2018 from Sriharikota, using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk II.
  • “This is a sophisticated satellite made to the specifications of the user and it can even help connect with handheld devices, flying objects even in remotest of places,” ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan said.
  • The Indian Navy already has a satellite dedicated for its own use — the GSAT-7, also called Rukmini, which was launched in 2013. The GSAT-7 provides the Navy the “real-time secure communications capability” over the Indian Ocean region. This does away with the need to rely on satellites operated by foreign operators, “which are prone to monitoring and eavesdropping”.
  • It will add a “powerful redundant layer of communication to the Integrated Air Command and Control System for the air warriors”. So far, the IAF has been relying on hiring transponders, which are prone to snooping.
  • Recently, the Ministry of Defence cleared a plan to set up a special “Defence Space Agency” – an integrated tri-services unit that will use all Indian space assets for the benefit of the armed forces.
  • The GSAT-7A, along with the earlier GSAT-7 and GSAT-6, will form the band of communications satellite for use of the security forces. The country has a battery of earth-imaging CartoSAT series of satellites and a RadarSAT and a Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite that provide inputs to secure India’s borders.
  • Besides, the country has the Regional Satellite Navigation System or NAVIC— a constellation of satellites that, among other things, help in precision guidance of missiles.
  • The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk II— which is powered by an indigenous cryogenic engine.

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