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India launches satellite to help Air Force communications

India launches satellite to help Air Force communications

The Indian military communication satellite GSAT-7A is pictured next to the moon as it is launched into orbit on the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) in Sriharikota in the state of Andhra Pradesh

India’s space agency Wednesday successfully launched a satellite which is expected to boost the networking capacity of the Indian Air Force and Army.

The 2,250-kilogram GSAT-7A was launched with a GSLV Mk II rocket from the Sriharikota launch pad in southern India.

‘It was a successful and a safe launch,’ K Sivan, director of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said at a briefing from the launch centre.

The satellite would go through some orbital manoeuvres over the next few days to reach its final orbiting position, Sivan said.

The launch was telecast live by state-owned television channel Doordarshan.

The GSAT-7A will be primarily used by the Air Force, with the Army using 30 per cent of its capacity, the Times of India newspaper reported.

The satellite can downlink to multiple ground stations. It has an airborne early warning and control capabilities. This means it can detect flying military aircraft across the country and can be used to coordinate them.

It can also be used for remote piloting operations which would be useful for controlling drones.

The launch is India’s 17th and last mission in 2018 as it gears up for its second moon mission early in 2019.

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