Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today launched its military communication satellite GSAT-7A from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) of Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. It is the 35th Indian communication satellite. The weight of GSAT-7A is 2,250 kg. The satellite is expected to enhance the efficiency of the Indian Air Force (IAF) by adding a new space-based dimension to the way it interlinks, operates and communicates with its aircraft.
With the aim to expand the communication capabilities of the IAF, the GSAT-7A will be the first satellite built primarily designed to improve combined, common intelligence during operations. It will connect many of the ground radar stations, airbases and aircrafts operated by the force. The satellite is also expected to boost network-dependant warfare and drone capabilities. Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa hailed the launch. He said that the communication to aircraft through the satellite will be made possible with this launch.
The satellite is using Ku-band which can enable superior real time aircraft-to-aircraft communication between fighter jets while in flight and their commanders on the ground. He satellite will be released into geostationary orbit equipped with solar panels and reflectors by the GSLV-F11 space vehicle. GSLV-F11 is the 13th flight of India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and its 7th flight with indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS).The launch vehicle will release the satellite around 36,000 Km away from the earth. The GSAT-7A is the 17th successful space mission of the ISRO in 2018.