India on Wednesday successfully launched its latest advanced satellite that will give a big boost to the strategic communication and networking capabilities of the Indian Air Force(IAF).
Dubbed as "Angry Bird", the satellite is expected to enable the force to interlink different ground radar stations, ground airbase and Airborne early warning and control (AWACS) aircraft.
In a launch that came with many firsts, the 2,250 kg geo-stationary satellite GSAT-7A built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) provides for a secure mode of communication and will be for the exclusive use of the IAF. It will boost the air force’s network-centric warfare capabilities and enhance its global operations. GSAT-7A will also boost drone operations as it will help the force upgrade from existing ground control stations to satellite-control of military UAVs.
Key highlights from the launch:
"The launch is a tremendous jump in our networking capabilities. It will be very beneficial to our communication network," IAF chief Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa said during an interaction with media in Jodhpur.
The mission life of the GSAT-7A is eight years.
From the Mission Control Centre, ISRO Chairman K Sivan said the "successful and safe" launch was the third one in 35 days and came close on the heels of the "grand success" of two missions in November.
Here are the key features of the satellite:
On November 14, ISRO's GSLV-MkIII-D, which is dubbed by the ISRO as the 'Bahubali' injected into orbit a 3,423 kg communication satellite GSAT-29, the country's heaviest to be put into orbit. India's earth observation satellite HysIS and 30 other co-passenger satellites from eight countries were launched onboard ISRO's trusted workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle on November 29.