Indian Army to get its made in India Communication Satellite; Defence Ministry signs a contract of Rs 3,000 Crore.
The Defence Ministry in a boost to 'Aatmanirbharta' in Defence, the Ministry of Defence signed three contracts – two with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Ghaziabad and one with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) – at a total cost nearly Rs 5,400 crore on Wednesday, March 29.
According to the press release, the first contract with BEL is in regards to procurement of Automated Air Defence Control & Reporting System ‘Project Akashteer’ worth Rs 1,982 crore for the Indian Army will empower the Air Defence units of the Indian Army with an indigenous, state-of-the-art capability, to effectively operate in an integrated manner. Akashteer will enable monitoring of low level airspace over the battle areas of Indian Army and effectively control the Ground Based Air Defence Weapon Systems.
While the second contract with BEL relates to acquisition of Sarang Electronic Support Measure (ESM) systems along with associated Engineering Support Package from BEL, Hyderabad at an overall cost of Rs 412 crore for the Indian Navy which is an advanced Electronic Support Measure system for helicopters of the Indian Navy.
The second contract, which the MoD signed is a Rs 2,963 crore contract with New Space India Limited (NSIL) for procurement of an advanced Communication Satellite, GSAT 7B for the Indian Army which will provide High Throughput Services.
At present, the Indian Air Force and Navy have its own communication satellite and the Indian Army is the only armed force among other in India who does not have one.
According to the Ministry, the army is expected to receive the five-tonne geostationary satellite in 2026 which will be developed indigenously by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The advanced security satellite is said to considerably enhance the communication capability of the India Army by providing mission critical beyond line of sight communication to troops and formations as well as weapon and airborne platforms.
The proposal for a GSAT-7B satellite was approved by India's Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the government's top weapons procurement body.
Reportedly, ISRO's GSAT-7 series of advanced satellites are designed to provide users with communication capabilities across vast distances, including oceans.
The Press release further stated that many satellite parts, sub-assemblies, and systems will be sourced from indigenous manufacturers, including micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and start-ups, and the project will also said to generate employment for around 300,000 people over the next three and a half years.
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