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ISRO says ‘no’ to satellite

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) might be planning a grandiose moon landing in 2007-2008 but it is thumbs down as far as the Navy is concerned.

The Navy’s plan to go in for satellite-based network-centric operations, to enhance its battlespace awareness and strike capabilities in the entire Indian Ocean and beyond, has received a serious jolt with ISRO expressing its inability to provide the force with a dedicated communication satellite.

“We wanted ISRO to launch a satellite for the Navy but they say it’s not possible. Now, the force is looking at commercial satellites of foreign agencies to meet its needs,” say sources.

But won’t this compromise security? Well, the Navy hopes India’s domestic infotech industry will be able to provide “suitable security overlays” to ensure safety of all the data which will flow on this “hired satellite transponder”.

The Navy wants to network all its warships, submarines and aircraft with operational centres ashore to make a quantum jump from its “platform-centric operations”.

“Information of a hostile action or target can then be shared by the entire fleet and command centres on land in real time…This will produce tremendous synergy and ensure the combined capabilities of all our platforms come into play,” says an officer.

Navy-wide network-centric operations, once achieved, will enable the Navy to dictate the tempo of battle to its adversaries and increase battle-space awareness of its units. It will, in short, shorten the “sensor-shooter loop”.