|Mission duration||Planned: 7 years|
Elapsed: 7 years, 8 months, 9 days
|Manufacturer||ISRO Satellite Centre|
Space Applications Centre
|Launch mass||2,650 kilograms (5,840 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||29 August 2013, 20:30UTC|
|Launch site||Kourou ELA-3|
|Perigee altitude||35,779 kilometres (22,232 mi)|
|Apogee altitude||35,806 kilometres (22,249 mi)|
|Epoch||7 November 2013, 23:12:49 UTC|
GSAT-7 or INSAT-4F is a multi-band military communications satellite developed by ISRO. The Indian Navy is the user of the multi-band communication spacecraft, which has been operational since September 2013. According to defense experts, the satellite will enable the navy to extend its blue water capabilities and stop relying on foreign satellites like Inmarsat, which provide communication services to its ships.
GSAT-7, the multi-band communication satellite named Rukmini carries the payloads in UHF, C band and Ku band. It is the first dedicated military communication satellite (unlike earlier dual use satellites) built by ISRO that will provide services to the Indian defence forces with the main user being the Indian Navy. The 2,650 kilograms (5,840 lb) GSAT-7 is the last of ISRO's seven fourth-generation satellites. Its foreign launch cost has been put at Rs. 480 crore, with the satellite costing Rs. 185 crore. The multiple-band spacecraft will be used exclusively by the Navy to shore up secure, real-time communications among its warships, submarines, aircraft and land systems. GSAT-7/ INSAT-4F is said to significantly improve the country's naval operations around the world. ISRO is expected to launch the second satellite, GSAT-7A, in the second half of 2018. GSAT 7a will be used by the Indian air force . The state-of-the-art GSAT 7 satellite carrying payloads operating in UHF, S, C and Ku bands, had a lift-off mass of 2,625 kilograms (5,787 lb) and is based on ISRO's 2,500 kilograms (5,500 lb) satellite bus with some new technological elements, including the antennae. After a flight of almost 34 minutes, the satellite was injected into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) of 249-kilometre (155 mi) perigee, 35,929-kilometre (22,325 mi) apogee and an inclination of 3.5 degree with respect to the equator.
India's first dedicated military satellite was put into a geosynchronous orbit, about 36,000 kilometres (22,000 mi) above Earth, five days after it was launched after three orbit-raising manoeuvres from ISRO's Master Control Facility at Hassan in Karnataka. The 2.5-tonne spacecraft's antennae, including the ultra high frequency Helix antenna were deployed before it was stabilised on its three-axis in the orbit. All of the on-board transponders were switched on successfully on September 18, 2013
Rukmini will provide networking capabilities to various Indian Naval assets. During Theater-level Readiness and Operational Exercise (Tropex) in the Bay of Bengal in 2014, Rukmini was able to network about 60 ships and 75 aircraft seamlessly. Rukmini has a nearly 2,000 nautical mile 'footprint' over the Indian Ocean Region.