ISRO launches GSAT-7A: Indian Air Force to get more eyes in the skies

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Updated: December 19, 2018 5:27:57 PM

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) LAUNCHED GSAT-7A an advanced communications satellite, dedicated to the Indian Air Force (IAF) which will add more air power and give the service additional strategic communication capabilities.

ISRO, GSAT7A, GSAT7A launch, AWACS, GSAT7B, Indian Navy, Prime Minister OfficeThe Indian Army which does not have its own dedicated satellite will be using 30 per cent of GSAT-7A, as it waits for its own GSAT-7B which is expected to be built soon. (Photo source: Twitter/ISRO)

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) LAUNCHED GSAT-7A an advanced communications satellite, dedicated to the Indian Air Force (IAF) which will add more air power and give the service additional strategic communication capabilities. This satellite will enable the IAF to interlink different ground radar stations, ground airbase and Airborne early warning and control (AWACS) aircraft and will help to satellite-control of military unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This will be 14th satellite for the military use; so far there are 13 satellites in use by the armed forces for surveillance. The 2,250-kg operational communication satellite is modelled on the GSAT-7 satellite built for the Indian Navy.

The Indian Army which does not have its own dedicated satellite will be using 30 per cent of GSAT-7A, as it waits for its own GSAT-7B which is expected to be built soon. As had been reported by FE Online earlier, the GSAT-7A was launched by the Indian rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) from Sriharikota in India. The mission life of the GSAT-7A, built by the ISRO, is eight years. It will provide communication capability to users in Ku-band over the Indian region, the space agency said.

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After the successful launch of the satellite meant for the IAF, the IAF Chief, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa said the launch of satellite GSLV-7A would enhance the networking and communication capabilities of the Air Force. “We have several platforms (aircrafts) which have capabilities of communication through satellite. The communication to the platform (aircrafts) through the satellite will be made possible with this launch,” he told the media persons at Jodhpur air base.

According to information available on the official website of ISRO, the GSLV-F11 will inject GSAT-7A into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) and it will be placed in its final Geostationary Orbit using the onboard propulsion systems. GSLV-F11 is ISRO’s fourth generation launch vehicle with three stages. The four liquid strap-ons and a solid rocket motor at the core form the first stage of the launch vehicle, while the second stage is equipped with high thrust engine using liquid fuel, said ISRO.

The satellite has been designed and developed by ISRO, and GSAT 7 A will help in extending the range of operations of the IAF aircraft, specially designed to enable network centric warfare and surveillance capabilities of the air force by providing a platform for linking the aircraft with ground stations, radars and other surveillance and military communication systems.

It will be able to link up with Beriev A-50 a Russian airborne early warning and control aircraft based on the Ilyushin Il-76 transport, Israel’s Phalcon airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) a multi-sensor airborne early warning and control (AEW&C).

The GSAT -7A payload has a switchable frequency plan for mobile users in Ku-band. It features one Gregorian reflector antenna and four steerable reflector antennas.

As reported earlier, in Sept 2013, a satellite in the GSAT-7 series was launched for the Indian Navy which a multi-band communication satellite is making the navy totally independent of the foreign satellites for its blue water capabilities. Through this satellite the Indian Navy is able to communicate with the warships, submarines aircraft and land systems.

Though there is a demand from the armed forces for dedicated satellites for military use, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Ministry of Defence (MoD), have yet to formulate Comprehensive Space Policy.

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