Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has launched Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) 7th and last satellite IRNSS 1G on 28th April 2016 from Sathish Dhawan Space research centre, Shriharikota. With the launch of this last satellite India become the Fifth country in the world to have its own navigation system for civilian and military use.
This system was developed because the dependency on usage of US’s GPS system has to avoid. In 1999 during Kargil war India wants to utilize the GPS system of US for military operations. But US Govt. has declined the proposal, in support of Pakistan.A need for an native satellite navigation system was felt earlier, but the Kargil experience made the nation realize its unavailability.
Back in 1999, at the time of Kargil war, when Pakistani troops took a position in the war, India realized the need for GPS data instantly for the region. At that time, US government had space-based navigation system which could be helpful for India in providing viral information but the shockingly US denied to give it to India. However, before the Kargil war too India had felt the need to have indigenous satellite navigation system but the war of 1999 made it inevitable.
PM Narendra Modi named it as “NAVIC”(Navigation with Indian Constellation) means “sailor” or “navigator “ in Sanskrit and Hindi. This is dedicated to the India’s Mariner’s, fishermen who have been navigating using the Sun and Stars as way-points over the centuries. This is similar to the U.S’s Global positioning system -“GPS”and Russia’s -“Glonass”, Europe’s – “Galileo”, China’s -“Bei Dou”respectively.
With the launch of this IRNSS 1G satellite the constellation of seven satellites is completed. ISRO is focusing on developing process of designing the front end chips which will receive navigational signals from the seven satellites. The IRNSS 1G was launched in to a sub geosynchronous transfer orbit with a perigee (nearest point to earth) of 284 Km to apogee (farthest point to earth) of 20,657 Km.
The satellite was launched on board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle ( PSLV C33).The IRNSS-1A first of seven satellites launched on 1st July2013,IRNSS -1B was launched on 4thApril 2014 on board the PSLV-C24 rocket. IRNSS- 1C was launched on 16th October 2014,IRNSS -1D on 28th March 2015,IRNSS-1E on 20th January 2016,IRNSS-1F on 10th March 2016 and finally IRNSS-1G was launched on 28th April 2016.
Why did the US deny?
India after Independence chose not to merge with any superpower but Pakistan made formal relations with the US. In the year 1950, Pakistan Prime Minister in his visit to the US requested them to set a CIA base in Pakistan as all other major powerful colonies had their bases in different countries.
Once in the year 1954, Ayub Khan, the then Army commander told to US brigadier, “I didn’t come here to look at barracks. Our Army can be your army if you want us. But, let’s make a decision.” Then it was said that Pakistan had sold the country for financial aid and weapons to the US and became US’s slave. CIA had built bases in Pakistan.
Also, after the USSR and US’s tug of war in 1979, the relation of US and Pakistan reached to another height.
India still believed in Non-alignment policy on the other hand. USSR was a better friend for Indian than the US because it supplied arms and intelligence support to India.
In the war of 1971, US threatened India to back off its Army but India denied to and hence CIA had to face the humiliating defeat. So, at the time of Kargil war, CIA had huge military logistics presence in Pakistan and it couldn’t endanger them by assisting India in the war. Thus, US denied helping India for GPS access.
However, now India has its own Navigation system and all thanks to the denial of US.
Source: Times of India