India's 1st military satellite to be launched this week
The 2.5 tonne satellite will be mainly used by the Indian Navy, providing the much-needed boost to the communication network among warships.
Though officially Isro has called GSat-7 a communication satellite, officials requesting anonymity acknowledged it was the space agency's first dedicated military satellite. It will be the 17th Indian satellite to be launched by Arianespace.
Earlier ISRO catered to the needs of the armed forces by earmarking a portion of a satellite's transponder for classified communication. "But this is the first time we are launching a satellite with a specifically military role," said an official.
The Army, Navy and the Air Force have been emphasizing on the need for satellites catering exclusively to their needs for some time now. Friday's launch of GSat-7 marks a first step in that direction. It is said that the naval satellite will be followed by one each for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army.
On October 22, 2001, Isro launched the Technology Experiment Satellite which is supposed to be used for espionage purposes.