press trust of india
NEW DELHI, 28 JUNE: India will launch two satellites over the next two years to augment transponder capacity and make contingency arrangements to support services like VSAT, television, strategic and emergency communications.
The Union Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last evening, approved a proposal for the development and launch of two communications satellites ~ GSAT-15 and GSAT-16, finance minister P Chidambaram told reporters here.
He said building of GSAT-15 is part of the Indian Research Organisation’s (ISRO) efforts towards in-orbit spare capacity to meet contingency and to protect the services of existing users.
“The satellite will provide required redundant capacity, will augment capacity in the Ku band, and shall provide in-orbit redundant requirement of safety of life operations benefitting civil aviation services in the country,” he said.
Mr Chidambaram said GSAT-16 will meet contingency requirements, protect services of existing users and will augment and support existing telecommunication, television, VSAT and other satellite-based services in the country.
The GSAT-15 is expected to be built within the next 18 months, while GSAT-16 is likely to be built in the next 24 months.
The total cost for GSAT-15 is Rs 859.5 crore, which includes launch services procured from a foreign entity. The satellite will be similar to GSAT-16 but with enhanced capabilities.
The GSAT-16 is expected to replace INSAT-3E which will reach the end of its life in mid-2015. The Cabinet has approved a total cost of Rs 865.5 crore for development and launch services, including insurance for the satellite.
Currently, ISRO has nine operational INSAT/GSAT satellites which provide different frequency bands to nearly 195 transponders.