India today successfully launched a navigation satellite using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle or PSLV from Sriharikota. With this launch, the Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO says it can start operations of India's own version of the Global Positioning System or GPS, useful in everyday life for navigation. This Indian technology is most needed by India's armed forces for precision guidance.
India's PSLV lifted off at 5.19 pm from Sriharikota; within 20 minutes India joined a select club of six that have the indigenous capability of generating their satellite-based navigation signals.
"India today successfully placed its navigation satellite in orbit - a big achievement for the country," said Dr Kiran Kumar, Chairman, ISRO.
This navigation system has an accuracy of less than 20 meters, which is comparable to the best in the world.
Today, most smartphones are equipped to help in navigation but most people do not know that the signals on these handsets are generated using satellites controlled by America, useful for civilian applications. But, in times of war and hostility India could not have relied on foreign vendors. As a consequence, the country developed a regional navigation satellite system which will totally be in India's control helping the country's strategic forces in precision guidance of ammunition and missiles.
With today's successful launch, the Indian space agency says very soon India's own 'GPS' system will become operational, a useful addition for the common man, but most needed by the Indian armed forces as it will give them the much needed strategic depth.