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Global Times

India's observation satellite will have limited military functions: expert

Global Times

By Zhang Han Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/6 23:04:44

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is scheduled to launch an earth observation satellite that has all-weather and day-and-night capabilities on Saturday, with some Indian media outlets reporting that it will help Indian troops "keep a hawk eye" on the China-India border amid the stand-off.

But Chinese analysts said its advantages in border tactics would be very limited as the country does not have many reconnaissance satellites with coordination capabilities, which would affect the resolution of the satellite.

The earth observation satellite EOS-01 and nine international customer spacecraft will be launched from the spaceport of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, media reports said. It will be the first launch by the ISRO since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted its missions.

The EOS-01 is intended for applications such as agriculture, forestry and disaster management support, the ISRO said. But some Indian media reports said that the satellite could increase the Indian military's "surveillance capabilities" from outer space.

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times that at the tactical level, the satellite would only play a limited role as India lacks enough reconnaissance satellites to coordinate, affecting time and location accuracy.

But India's ambitions are greater than that: The country has signed an agreement with the US on sharing space information, meaning that India may acquire intelligence on China's military deployment from the US, which has stronger space capabilities, Song said on Friday.

These attempts to understand the Chinese military's border tactics are aimed at increasing India's bargaining chips in the border talks, Song said.

China and India held the 8th round of commander-level border talks on Friday, Indian media reports said. The two countries' previous commander-level talks were held on October 12.

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