India To Launch Military Satellites

India plans to launch a series of indigenously builtmilitary satellites with surveillance, imaging and navigationcapabilities to keep a watch on its neighbourhood and help guide cruisemissiles, a top defence scientist said on Saturday.

"There willbe a series of (defence) satellites. I cannot give you the numbersbecause they are classified," V K Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to theDefence Minister, said here.

"Each year, you will find one ortwo satellites going up," added the Secretary, Defence R & D andDirector General of Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO).

Mostly, these satellites are dedicated to differentdefence applications and would have payloads which are forsurveillance, imaging, navigation and communication.

"You shouldbe able to see with very high resolution and precision the movements oftroops and things like that (in the neighbourhood)," Saraswat said."You should be able to see what are the new buildings and newfacilities which have come up".

India would be able to send dataand commands through these satellites to cruise missiles. "So it willhave tremendous applications", he said.

These defence satelliteswould be indigenously built and launched from home soil only given the"security sensitivity", Saraswat stressed.

"The Army, Navy andAir Force each have their own requirement and it won't be appropriateto say how many each of them would need, due to securityconsiderations," Saraswat said.

India has taken up developmentand launch of these defence satellites under its space-basedsurveillance programme, which has a road-map for setting up satellitesfor all applications for the Army, Navy and Air Force, he said.

"Now,this road-map has been given to the Department of Space and theDepartment of Space is taking its own schedule for launching thesesatellites. We have only one Department of Space and we have hugerequirements...," he said.

Saraswat said India has already launched some satellites under this programme.

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