New DRDO surveillance satellite deployed in space to help monitor Indian Ocean Region

By Livemint

A satellite developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) called ‘Sindhu Netra’ has been deployed in space using the recent PSLV-C51 launch that was conducted earlier today. The satellite will provide a boost to the country’s surveillance capabilities to monitor the activities of both military warships and merchant shipping in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

The satellite was part of the load of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) PSLV-C51 which took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at 10:30 am today.

The satellite is claimed to be capable of automatically identifying the warships and merchant ships operating in the IOR. According to an ANI report, the satellite is already in position and has also started communicating with the ground systems.

Other the IOR, the satellite has importance to surveil other sensitive areas as well. If required, the satellite can also help in carrying out surveillance in specific areas such as the South China Sea or areas prone to pirate attacks areas near the Gulf of Aden and the African coast.

The satellite is the first in the series of satellites that will expand India’s surveillance network which will work on land in areas such as the Ladakh region with China and the border areas with Pakistan.

Seeking to keep a closer eye on the activities of the Chinese military both near the Indian territory as well as in its depth areas all along the 4,000 kilometre Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Indian security agencies feel there is a requirement of four to six dedicated satellites which can help them keep a check on the adversary’s moves.

Along with the setting up of the Defence Space Agency, the government also created a defence space research organisation to look after the ability to protect space assets from being attacked by adversaries there. The space arm of the defence forces would also be bolstered significantly in near future.

ISRO conducted its first launch of 2021 which was the first commercial load via NSIL. The primary satellite Amazonia-1 was from Brazil which will be used to surveil the Amazon region for deforestation. The shuttle also carried 18 other co-passenger satellites.

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