Space Based Surveillance Image Credit: Geopolitics
Space Based Surveillance Image Credit: Geopolitics

Space-Based Surveillance

It is time for India to realise that satellites are vital for a fully network-centric force. A report.

Geopolitics Bureau

India’s large landmass and the need to keep communication and data lines open across large military formations on its Western and Eastern fronts mean that satellites are vital to linking the three defence forces and their various assets. Space-based satellites are one of the main avenues, whereby India will be able to keep an eye on ballistic missile developments in neighbouring countries, as we do not operate long-range spy planes or conduct overflights. India has developed the technology and knowhow to launch military satellites and this will only be boosted with the availability of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III (GSLV Mk-III) that will allow heavier satellites in the four tonne category to be put into space.

Growing capability

India’s first satellite dedicated for military use, GSAT-7, was launched in August 2013.GSAT-7 is an advanced communication satellite which provides a wide range of service spectrum from low bit rate voice to high bit rate data communication. Its communication payload will be used to provide communication capabilities to users over a wide oceanic region, including the Indian land-mass. However, it must be said that apart from this launch, the pace of production/launch of military satellites for the Indian military has been insufficient. A space based satellite capability for surveillance and communication is also extremely hard to destroy using high-flying fighter aircraft equipped w

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