Dedicated satellite for IAF by 2010 to enhance surveillance capabilities

February 12th, 2009 - 6:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Feb 12 (IANS) The Indian Air Force (IAF) will have its own satellite by mid-2010 to enhance its surveillance and strike capabilities, a top military commander said Thursday
“We will have our own satellite functioning by the middle of next year to enhance our surveillance and capabilities in this turbulent region as part of our modernisation programme,” IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major said at a press conference on the sidelines of the Aero India international air show here.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch the dedicated satellite for the IAF onboard the Polar Launch Satellite Vehicle (PSLV) from its spaceport at Sriharikota, about 90km from north of Chennai. The space agency had launched a technology experimental satellite (TES) for military applications in October 2001 but this had been kept under wraps.

Weighing 1,108 kg, the TES had a spatial resolution of one metre, which enabled taking pictures of even small places and objects and their quick transmission to the user.

The new satellite is intended to relay the pictures to the IAF’s Integrated Air Command and Control System being set up this year and to identify troubled spots for targetted attack.

“The command and control system will have sophisticated radars and sensors to enable us conduct operations with high flexibility,” Major said.

Asked about the IAF’s role in the event of India launching surgical strikes on terror camps, Major said it would provide air cover to the special forces in carrying out precision strikes.

“Surgical strike is like carrying out a surgery in the right place at the right time with right probe for a precision strike without causing any collateral damage,” Major pointed out.

The air chief’s comments are significant in light of Indian Army chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor statement in New Delhi Feb 8 that surgical strikes were feasible militarily but it was for the Indian government to take a call on them.

“In a surgical strike you put your target down in a manner where it is rendered unusable and not affect areas around at the same time,” Major added.

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