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Friday, October 23, 2009

Navy to have satellite over Indian Ocean

NEW DELHI: The Navy is all set to have a dedicated communication satellite by next year that will enable it to operate more effectively in the Indian Ocean.Defence Minister A K Antony on Thursday said that the launch of the naval communication satellite will significantly improve connectivity at sea. All the three services are looking to explore space for military applications and the Navy will be the first one to have its own satellite.Antony was talking to senior naval commanders where he touched upon the importance of having a satellite what would help in strengthening the network-centric approach. It would be a geo-stationary satellite concentrating on the Indian Ocean Region, a key area of operation for the Indian Navy. It will provide data link service for the Indian naval ships and aircraft positioned in the area, said officials.After the Navy, the Indian Air Force will be next in line to have its own satellite. The Air Force is already working on setting up an aerospace command.The Navy now has an added responsibility of the entire maritime security of the country. It leads a 14-department establishment concerning with various aspects of maritime security.The naval commanders are busy working out standard operating procedures for all these bodies so that a repeat of 26/11 could be prevented. The Navy will have to train troops of Central Industrial Security Force for specialised maritime operation. The CISF is responsible for the security of ports and harbour.As the maritime security framework is being re-designed, the Navy top brass is worried about delays in inducting new warships, aircraft and submarines in its fleet. Most of the big ticket purchases from the foreign vendors are running behind schedule. The suppliers have failed to keep the delivery  deadline making it difficult for the Navy to carry on with the existing fleet. Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma asked his officers to take innovative ideas in maintenance and operations of the old ships.

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