The Indian Navy plans to purchase a specialised earth imaging satellite Geo Imaging Satellite-2 (GISAT-2), this fiscal year as part of its modernisation and network-centric combat and communications programme. The satellite, if operational, is likely to improve the navy’s operating capabilities in the Indian Ocean region, which is strategically and geopolitically crucial, especially given China’s growing influence.
- According to information from the Ministry of Defence, the GISAT-2 is one of 21 planned procurements, including several long-term buys. In addition, the navy’s capabilities development/modernization is being carried out in line with the long-term objectives in place for the next decade.
- Under the budget projections for 2022-23, the navy would receive Rs 45,250 crore for modernisation. With a 10% annual growth rate, it is expected to receive more Rs 2.7 lakh crore for upgrading by 2026-27. According to the Ministry of Defense, the navy’s total committed liabilities are Rs 1.20 lakh crores, and modernization schemes worth more than Rs 1.9 lakh crores and Rs 2.5 lakh crores (under Part A and B of the annual acquisition plan) are being advanced for contract conclusion over the next five years.
- Aside from GISAT-2, the navy plans to buy: Next-generation missile vessels, fleet support ships (FSS), high and medium altitude long endurance remotely piloted aircraft systems, multi-role carrier borne fighters, indigenous aircraft carrier-2; next-generation fast attack craft; next-generation corvettes, destroyers, fast interceptor craft, and survey vessel; national hospital ship; electronic warfare system; extra-large unmanned underwater vehicle; anti-ship missiles (cons).
- While the Ministry of Defense has designated GISAT-2 for acquisition this fiscal year, the satellite’s development and launch dates have yet to be determined. When it comes to satellite acquisition, the Navy has led the way among the armed forces.
Satellites in the GISAT family:
The GISAT-2 will be designed to deliver near-real-time photos of vast regions of interest at regular intervals, assisting the navy not just in surveillance but also in operations planning. The satellite, which will operate from a geostationary orbit (GEO), will also allow for near-real-time observations in cloud-free situations.
GISAT-2, a 2+tonne class satellite, will be built on the modified I-2k satellite bus, just like GISAT-1. In August of last year, Isro failed to launch GISAT-1 into orbit when the GSLV-Mk2 carrying it suffered faults in the cryogenic upper stage, causing the mission to fail. The mission in August 2021 was the space agency’s third attempt to launch the satellite; the first two failed for various reasons.
Important Takeaways For All Competitive Exams:
- Minister of Defence: Shri Rajnath Singh
- Indian Chief of the Naval Staff: Admiral R. Hari Kumar