New Delhi, July 9
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) has approved a program for the indigenous development of satellite communication (SATCOM) terminals which are housed on warships, submarines and naval aircraft.
SATCOM terminals connect the Navy’s maritime platforms to the naval satellite GSAT-7 (Rukmini), which is connected to ground stations and relays information and data in real time. Originally from Israel, the SATCOMs are maintained by Bharat Electronics Limited, a public sector company.
Most of these SATCOMs are now over 10-12 years old, so field units have reported issues with product support and slow data transfer.
The Navy is investigating SATCOM terminals that have C-band and Ku-band compatibility with higher data and communication speeds.
The Ministry of Defense has in principle granted permission to manufacture them in India under the “Make-II” category of the defense procurement procedure. “Make—II” implies that industry will fund the development of the project, including the prototype for which no government funding will be provided.
Once a product is cleared for testing, the Navy will examine it to see if it is resistant to humidity and the vagaries of the sea. This will be followed by hardware testing which will include checking downlink speeds and rising.
Weighing nearly 2,650 kg, the GSAT-7 satellite was launched in August 2013 for the exclusive use of the Navy and it provides seamless communication with its footprint of 3,500 km across the Indian Ocean.
It was the first military communications satellite developed by the Indian Space Research Organization for the defense forces. It allowed the navy to better monitor the sea.
Connect ships to ground stations
- SATCOM terminals connect Navy ships with the GSAT-7 naval satellite
- The satellite relays real-time information and data to ground stations
- SATCOMs originally came from Israel