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6th August 2022 (7 Topics)

Army conducts exercise ‘Skylight’ to test satellite-based systems


The Indian Army conducted a pan-India exercise to test and validate its entire satellite-based communication network to ensure operational readiness in case of a conflict in the future.


About the Exercise

  • The ‘Skylight’ exercise was conducted from 25 to 29 July, 2022.
  • The exercise involved all kinds of satellite communication, from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to Ladakh, where India and China have engaged in a military stand-off for the past two years.
  • The exercise validated protocols to switch completely to the satellite-based communication in case of a conflict.
  • It also targeted in the systems loopholes, especially in the context of a situation arising with China.
  • The assets which are included in the exercise includes; static satellite communication systems, the vehicle laden transportable ones and also the man portable systems for their voice and data capability.

Need of the exercise

  • For safety during conflicts: As the terrestrial media is likely to be disrupted during the conflict situations, demand space-based communication is necessary for Army.
  • Dealing with enemies: A Military-grade satellite for Army is the very need of the hour for dealing with enemies.

Other Important Satellites

  • GSAT-7A: The first dedicated commutations satellite GSAT-7A for the IAF was launched in 2018.
  • GSAT 7B: The GSAT 7B aims to primarily fulfil the communication needs of the Army. It also aims to help the Army enhance its surveillance in border areas.
  • GSAT-7: The first military commutations satellite launched by India is for the Indian Navy.
    • This satellite GSAT-7 (also called Rukmini) was launched during September 2013 and is currently providing excellent service. 
  • GSAT-6: In 2015, a commutations satellite called GSAT-6 was launched by ISRO, which is also known to cater for strategic requirements of the country.
    • GSAT-6 is known to provide quality and secure communication.
  • Electromagnetic Intelligence Gathering Satellite (EMISAT): EMISAT, developed by ISRO, was launched in April 2020.
  • Kautilya: It has an Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) package called Kautilya, which allows the interception of ground-based radar and also carries out electronic surveillance across India.
  • RISAT 2BR1: India also has a RISAT 2BR1 synthetic aperture radar imaging satellite.

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