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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.

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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.