Indian Armed Forces after setting its roots into the three elements, air, water and land now moves one more step forward into space with the first ever dedicated military satellite which is to be launched soon within a month or so.
Government sources said, “The geo-stationary naval satellite has already been shipped out’ for its launch that will take place within a month or so”.
A new post would also be created of Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (communications, space and network-centric operations) at the Navy head-quarters.
The Navy on Sunday said that Rear Admiral Kishan K Pandey, a communications and electronic warfare specialist, had taken over as the new ACNS (CSNCO) in keeping with its endeavour to transform from a “platform-centric Navy” to a “network-enabled Navy”.
The satellite will have an over 1,000 nautical mile footprint over the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) (stretching from Africa’s east coast right till Malacca Strait). The satellite will enable the Navy to network an link all its warships, submarines and aircrafts with operational centers through high-speed data-links.
This satellite was needed badly because China was increasingly expanding its strategic footprint over IOR, as well as on troop movements, missile silos, military installations and airbases across land borders.
After the launch of this Naval satellite follow the satellites of Army and IAF. Till now the Indian Defense Forces relied on ‘dual-use satellites’ as well as foreign ones for navigation, communication and surveillance related operations.
Currently there are around 300 military satellites orbiting around the earth with almost 50% from US, followed by Russia and China.
China, in particular, is pursuing an extensive military-space program that even extends to advanced ASAT (anti-satellite) capabilities with “direct-ascent” missiles, hit-to-kill “kinetic” and directed-energy laser weapons.
DRDO from its side contends, it can quickly design ASAT weapons by making slight changes to Agni-V missile systems which was tested recently with the “kill vehicle” of the almost-ready two-tier BMD ( ballistic missile system) system.
But India is still some distance away from effective ASAT capabilities. The government is also not yet willing to create a tri-Service Aerospace Command on the lines of the Strategic Forces Command which handles nuclear weapons.
But still, the Naval satellite is a step forward in the right direction. The navy has already tested its ‘ship-end’ mechanism through the Tropex (theatre-level readiness and operational exercise) held in Jan-Feb.
The network-centric operations were tried with both the Eastern and Western Fleets, backed by fighters, spy drones and helicopters, out at sea.
Source: Times Of India