On March 29, 2023, the Ministry of Defence signed a contract with the Department of Space New Space India Limited – a public sector undertaking of the Department of Space – for the procurement of an advanced communication satellite for the Indian Army.
The Ministry of Defence will procure from NSIL the GSAT-7B advanced communication satellite built indigenously under the Buy IDMM category, where IDDM stands for Indigenously Designed, Developed, and Manufactured, contiguous with the Aatmanirbhar Bharat push in defence.
The GSAT-7B will be a geostationary satellite, like the GSAT-7A operated by the Indian Air Force and GSAT-7 operated by the Indian Navy. The GSAT-7B will provide beyond-line-of-sight communication to troops, formations, airborne platforms and weapon systems, all critical during military operations and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR). Such beyond-line-of-sight communications have been difficult to achieve in mountainous terrains and over long distances. GSAT-7B will address that limitation.
The satellite will be built at an overall price point of Rs. 2963 crores by the Indian Space Research Organization while the components and systems will be sourced from Indian manufacturing MSMEs, large corporations and startups – creating substantial high-tech employment opportunities. With the launch of GSAT-7B, the three forces will have dedicated geostationary communication satellites.