The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved the procurement of a communications satellite system for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Currently chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the DAC is the Indian Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) highest decision-making body on procurement.
The MoD stated that the acquisition of the GSAT-7C satellite and its associated ground hubs is budgeted at Rs22.36bn ($300.07m).
According to the information posted by the ministry, the capital acquisition proposal was given an acceptance of necessity (AoN).
The GSAT-7C communication satellite system will facilitate real-time connectivity of the IAF’s software-defined radios (SDRs).
The project involves complete design, development and launching of the satellite in India, and supports the country’s ‘Make in India’ initiative introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The GSAT-7C satellite and ground hubs will soon be inducted into service with the IAF.
MoD said in a statement that the country’s armed forces will benefit from an enhanced capability to ‘communicate beyond-line-of-sight (BLoS) among one another in all circumstances in a secure mode’.
In December 2018, India launched the GSAT-7A aboard the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F11).
The satellite lifted off from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. It is the 39th Indian communication satellite launched by GSLV.