ISRO G-SAT 7A launch: The long-awaited GSAT-7A took off from Sriharikota this evening
A communications satellite that will help connect all assets of the Indian Air Force and work as a force multiplier, will be the 17th mission and last launch of Indian space agency ISRO for the year 2018. The long-awaited GSAT-7A, which took off from Sriharikota this evening, will connect all IAF assets like planes, air-borne early warning control platforms, drones and ground stations, building a centralised network. 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.
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. This is also the space agency's 69th rocket launch from Sriharikota.
Here are the highlights from the ISRO GSAT 7A launch:
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot tweeed congratulatory messages to ISRO on the launch:
India also gets data from Canada's RadarSat 2 satellite that helps with natural disasters and resource management. It complements ISRO's radar satellite RISAT-1, which is used for reconnaissance activities.
The country already has a battery of earth-imaging CartoSAT series of satellites and a Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite that provide inputs to secure India's borders.
The two satellites, along with a third - the GSAT-6, will be the communications hub for the military.
Scientists said the satellite will have a mission life of eight years.
"Congratulate @isro for successfully launching the advanced communication satellite GSAT-7A, with launch vehicle GSLV-F11, from #Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh today. The 2250 kg satellite built by #ISRO will be a big boost to our defence capabilities," tweeted vice-president Venkaiah Naidu.
It will also reduce the possibility of snooping and leakage of information that's possible while using satellites launched by foreign operators.
The satellite has been placed into orbit successfully.
The 2,250 kg communications satellite will aid India's air power.
BREAKING: The Indian Angry Bird satellite-- the GSAT 7A has been launched successfully.
The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk II -- which is powered by an indigenous cryogenic engine -- will be on its 13th flight today. Its last five flights have been successful. The rocket is almost 50 meters high or as much as a 17-floor building. It weighs almost 414 tons -- as much as the combined weight of 80 full-grown elephants.
The IAF, Air Vice Marshal (Retd) M. Bahadur said, has been waiting for this capability for a long time, as 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.
The Indian Navy already has a satellite dedicated for its own use -- the GSAT-7, also called Rukmini, which was launched in 2013. Navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma told NDTV that 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," he said.
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.
The 2,250-kg military communications satellite GSAT-7A launches today from Sriharikota, using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk II.