GSAT-7 has now begun its checkout at the Spaceport of Arianespace, in French Guiana in South America, to confirm the multi-band satellite's readiness with payloads in the UHF, S-band, C-band and Ku-bands. Developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), it utilises India's standard I-2K bus - the same as employed for the Indian Insat-3D satellite, which had lifted off on Arianespace's VA214 mission on July 25.
A senior official from the ISRO said on condition of anonymity: "It is for strategic purposes." A person in the know of the development, said: "This only means that it is for defence purposes and it is a spy satellite. It is a satellite for a military communication network."
This is expected to meet the long-pending demand of the defence forces for a satellite exclusively for its use. The spacecraft was earlier meant to be launched on the indigenous GSLV but that programme is not fully ready.
Till now Insat's transponders were being used for the same after blocking off the transponders for secure communications.
The GSAT-7 spacecraft's mass at liftoff is estimated at 2,550 kg. After being deployed by the Ariane 5, the satellite will operate from an orbital position of 74 deg East.
GSAT-7 is a multi-band satellite carrying payloads in the ultra high frequency (UHF), S-band, C-band and Ku-band. The satellite employs the standard 2,000 Kg class bus (I-2K) platform with a power handling capability of around 3000 W and lift-off mass of 2,550 kg. The Indian satellite on Arianespace's VA215 mission will be joined by Eutelsat 25BôEs'hail 1, built by SSL for Eutelsat and Es'hailSat - The Qatar Satellite Company. Weighing more than 6,000 kg at liftoff, this platform was conceived to provide direct broadcast services (DBS) to expanding markets in West Asia, North Africa and Central Asia regions.
Arianespace is keeping up the Ariane 5 cadence as momentum builds for its next flight - which will orbit another of the heavy-lift launcher's dual-passenger payloads.
This mission, designated Flight VA215 in Arianespace's launcher family numbering system, is to carry the Eutelsat 25B/Es'hail-1 and GSAT-7 telecommunications satellites.
Flight VA215's heavy-lift vehicle has completed its initial build-up in the Spaceport's Launcher Integration Building for Ariane 5, and soon will be transferred to the Final Assembly Building to receive its payloads.
ISRO can now focus on it's Mars Orbiter Mission that will have to fly all the way across 400 million km over nine months and it is scheduled for October.