Exercise Skylight: India Conducts War Games to Test Satellite-Based Systems
India has established the new Defense Space Agency to enhance its military capabilities in space warfare. The Indian Army will get a dedicated satellite by 2025.
The Indian Army concluded the two-week-long pan-India "Exercise Skylight" last week to evaluate the combat-readiness of its space assets, India's PTI news agency reported.
The war games also involved a study on the ongoing Ukraine crisis, where a "tactical communication system" was used to dominate in the conflict. The study stressed the need for enhancing the space-based communication system.
Sources in the defense establishment said that the Army had tested more than 200 static terminals, over 80 transportable vehicles, and man portable-based systems located in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Jammu and Kashmir, and the eastern and southern parts of the country.
"Given the terrain and landscape of the northern border, the chances of the terrestrial communication system failing is high. In this scenario, space-based communication would be crucial in carrying out operations smoothly," sources added.
The Army plans more such exercises at regular intervals to review the communication systems' operational preparedness.
Apart from the Indian Army, sources said, several external agencies, including the Indian Space Research Organization, participated in the exercise.
In March, the Indian Defense Ministry approved funds for the GSAT 7B Satellite for the Indian Army, currently dependent on the Navy's GSAT-7 (Rukmini) and the GSAT-7A of the Indian Air Force.
In February, Indian scientists demonstrated quantum cryptography to provide secure communication options for the Army.
After an anti-satellite missile test in March 2019, India stressed it had achieved a new level of "deterrence" capabilities matching those of the US, Russia, and China.
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