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India ramps up military satellite plans

31st May 2021 - 08:46 GMT | by Neelam Mathews in Delhi


The latest GSAT-7A satellite is dedicated to the air force but shared by the army. (ISRO)

Satellites offer numerous ISR advantages, ones that the Indian military needs more than ever.

As the need for maritime domain awareness grows, and as border tensions with China and Pakistan increase, vulnerabilities in Indian space security have caused Delhi to look to build up its minuscule number of military satellites.

Presently, India has around 15 military-application satellites, with the latest GSAT-7A dedicated to the air force but shared by the army.

In 2022, the $225 million GSAT-7R — an Indian Navy (IN) communications satellite — will replace GSAT-7 Rukmini launched eight years ago. It is the last of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s seven fourth-generation satellites with a 2,000nmi coverage range over the Indian Ocean. 

An …

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