• Military communication satellite GSAT-7A, due to be launched on December 19 evening from Sriharikota.
• It is expected to add a new space-based dimension to the way Indian Air Force interlinks, operates and communicates with its aircraft as they fly and with command centres on the ground, according to multiple sources.
• Although all Indian communication satellites offer the capacity to the armed forces, GSAT-7A will be the first one built primarily for the IAF to qualitatively unify its assets and improve combined.
• The common intelligence during operations. With integrated action being a buzzword it will also support aerial activities of the Army and the Navy where required.
• About 70% of it would be for the Air Force and the rest for the needs of the Army,” said a source in Delhi.
• The ground force’s Army Aviation Corps operates many helicopters, uses UAVs and will acquire fixed-wing aircraft in future — all for surveillance and rescue missions.
• Multiple sources said the satellite using Ku band will enable superior real-time aircraft-to-aircraft communication; and between planes that are in flight and their commanders on the ground.
• It would enhance by many times the coverage now provided by ground communication systems such as radars and stations of the Army.
• Out-of-sight and remote areas where ground infrastructure and signals are difficult would get into the critical information loop.
• A military veteran said, “It will be a very important step or jump towards what we call network-centric operations or warfare”.
• It will enable communication and data linking at forward places and air defence centres. Pilots can communicate much better with headquarters while they fly.
• Headquarters can receive data in real time.
Mains Paper 3: Science and Technology | Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics etc.
Prelims level: Particulars of GSAT-7A
Mains level: Importance of GSAT-7A in military communication