SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
DRDO is developing a 150-ton Vehicle for Defence Application (Veda) that will be used to put defense satellites into orbit after the Indian armed forces suffered delays in the launch of four dedicated navigation satellites of the Indian armed forces due to misplaced priorities of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) that had put their launch in the backburner said a report of the “New Indian Express”.
Indian Armed forces depend on the civilian-administered ISRO for launches of its defense satellites into orbit and have to make payment of expenses for each launch to them, yet are often sidelined. DRDO developing a Road-mobile VEDA might help in reducing its dependency on the ISRO but also boosts its launch capacities in the defense satellite capability into orbit.
Pre-fabricated VEDA can be launched quickly from make-shift launch pads thus negating the requirement for setting up a dedicated launch pad like ISRO. All the defense satellites are manufactured and launched by the ISRO on behalf of the Indian Armed forces but it has been seen that ISRO always prioritizes its own and commercial obligations first over armed force requirements.
NavIC which was built and designed by ISRO to provide accurate real-time positioning and timing services to the Indian defense forces has been delayed by three years. Indian armed forces are looking at private space sector companies for the development of defense satellites that are fine-tuned to meet their requirements and Project Veda is the first step toward reducing its dependency on the ISRO.
While the immediate shift from ISRO to DRDO developed Launch vehicles won’t happen anytime soon but the process to have a dedicated defense satellite launch vehicles have already has started and it will not only improve India’s surveillance capabilities but also allow Indian armed forces to launch replacement satellites in case they are taken over and deliberately disabled or taken down with hardkill.
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