New Delhi: The Indian Navy will get a dedicated communications satellite next year which will ensure robust and secure communications for this youngest of India's defence services. The satellite will help boost the navy's network-centric operations and connectivity at sea, according to defence minister AK Antony.
Antony, who was addressing the Naval Senior Officer's Conference here, said India's growing stature would also lead to increased expectations that it would maintain military balance and security in the Indian Ocean Region. Keeping this in mind, it was important that efforts were made to enhance the navy's maritime domain awareness and that requirements to meet these needs were put on a fast track.
''The launch of the naval communication satellite next year will significantly improve connectivity at sea,'' Antony said.
With the launch of this satellite the Indian Navy would take the lead among the three defence services in having its own dedicated satellite. He assured the navy of the Government's commitment to provide funds to support its modernization programme.
Antony also pointed out that India's geographical location, in a region afflicted by natural disasters, placed additional onus on the Indian Navy to render humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the Indian Ocean.
Piracy on the high-seas had also become a matter of international concern, and in this regard he complimented the Indian Navy's bold and affirmative action in deterring piracy attempts off the Gulf of Aden. ''The presence of our ships in the area has instilled a sense of confidence in the shipping industry,'' he said.
The satellite, being built by ISRO, would be placed in a geo-stationary orbit and would provide an overview of about 600 to 1,000 nautical miles of the IOR, which India considers to be its primary area of responsibility in terms of maritime security.