The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch its first 2.5t military satellite called GSat-7 on 30 August 2013, to improve communication network among Indian navy vessels.
On the condition of anonymity, officials said it is the space agency’s first dedicated military satellite, even though officially ISRO has called GSat-7 a communication satellite.
The Times of India quotes an official as saying that "this is the first time we are launching a satellite with a specifically military role."
The satellite, which will be positioned at 74oE, will be launched on the Ariane Flight VA215 from the European spaceport near Kourou in French Guiana.
According to ISRO, GSAT-7 is a multi-band satellite carrying payloads in UHF, S-band, C-band and Ku-band and employs 2,000kg class bus (I-2K) platform with a power handling capability of around 3,000W and lift-off mass of 2,550kg.
After the launch of GSat-7, India is also planning to launch one satellite each for the air force and the army.
Earlier, the Indian space agency allotted a space on its satellite’s transponder for classified communication for the armed forces, however, GSat-7 is designed specifically to cater the communication needs of navy.
In October 2001, ISRO had launched its Technology Experiment Satellite aimed for spying purposes.
French space transportation firm Arianespace has launched 16 Indian satellites so far.