GSAT 7B And Other Military Satellites- UPSC Current Affairs

GSAT 7B And Other Military Satellites

In today’s series of our Current Affairs Dialog box, we will talk about GSAT 7B And Other Military Satellites. This topic is an integral part of the UPSC exam preparation and hence should be studied in depth. Navigate through this blog to understand its basics. It has relevance to the UPSC CSE syllabus in the following ways

For Prelims: Dedicated satellite for Indian Army, GSAT-7, Rukmini, GSAT-7A, Angry Bird, Electromagnetic Intelligence Gathering Satellite.

For Mains: Space Technology, Border Management, Satellite Surveillance.

Click here to read yesterday’s edition of the Current Affairs Dialog box. 

Why in the News?

Recently, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has accorded acceptance of necessity (first step of procurement) for the indigenously designed, developed and built GSAT 7B.

  • As of today, GSAT-7 (Rukmini) and GSAT-7A (Angry Bird) are India’s only two dedicated military satellites made for the Navy and Air Force respectively.

Probable Question

Discuss the significance of GSAT series satellites in maintaining the tempo of modern warfare.

About GSAT & Series Satellites

GSAT & series satellites are advanced geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) satellites developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to meet the communication needs of the defence services.

GSAT 7

  • GSAT 7 satellite was launched in 2013 and is also called Rukmini. It was India’s first military satellite and is used by the Indian Navy.
  • ISRO had defined GSAT-7 as “an advanced communication satellite providing a wide range of service spectrum from low bit rate voice to high bit rate data communication. 
  • The GSAT-7 Communication payload is designed to provide communication capabilities to users over a wide oceanic region including the Indian landmass.
  • The satellite connects the Navy’s warships, aircraft, submarines and land-based communication systems in real-time.

GSAT 7A

  • It has been launched in 2018 and is also called ‘Angry Bird’.
  • It is a dedicated satellite for Indian Air Force.
  • It connects various IAF platforms like aircraft, choppers, drones, airborne early warning and control systems and radars, among others.
  • Currently, the army is using 30% of the communication capabilities of the GSAT 7A.

Related Article: Defence Acquisition Procedure

GSAT 7B

  • The project for the satellite GSAT-7B will be carried out in partnership with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • It has been proposed to be launched in the next 2-3 years, GSAT 7B will be a state-of-the-art, multiband, military-grade satellite for the Army.
  • It is a communication satellite and is the latest in the GSAT-7 series.

Significance of GSAT 7B

  • It would help the Indian Army to enhance its surveillance in border areas.
  • It will act as a force multiplier and fail-safe communication support to the force as it moves deeper into a network-centric warfare scenario.
  • Experts note that continuous satellite coverage over India’s vast and complex topography will help the Indian Army in maintaining peace and also to carry out security operations if needed.
  • The use of such a satellite would also mean that the Army’s vast array of radio communication equipment could come under a single platform.
  • This will aid in enhancing the operational reach of the UAVs.
  • The satellite would also enable communications between far-off locations, boosting the Army’s network and making it more war-ready.

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Other Military Satellites of India

  • Electromagnetic Intelligence Gathering Satellite (EMISAT): It has an electronic intelligence (ELINT) package called Kautilya, allowing interception of ground-based radar and carrying out electronic surveillance across India.
  • RISAT 2BR1 synthetic aperture radar imaging satellite: It has the capability to operate in different modes including very high-resolution imaging modes.

Conclusion

  • The GSAT-7B is a step in the right direction to hold a position of advantage or superiority in space warfare.
  • China already holds a position of power when it comes to the space domain and it is already investing heavily in space programmes.
  • India has a long way to go before it can have near real-time imagery or electronic intelligence, which is often essential in maintaining the tempo of modern warfare.

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