'Rukmini' deployed to find Malaysian jet

 The Indian Navy is said to be utilising the services of the country’s first military satellite Rukmini/GSAT-7 to track the missing Malaysian airline MH 370 in the Bay of Bengal after  Malaysia requested India to help scour major regions of the Indian Ocean.

The satellite launched in August 2013, designed, built and fabricated in Bangalore, is meant for exclusive use by the Navy, although the defence forces can utilise its services.

The satellite has been deployed for protection of maritime and international interests around Malacca Straits and the Bay of Bengal on the south eastern side, as well as the Hormuz Straits in the western region.

It is meant for communications and surveillance of activities and intelligence gathering in the eastern, southern and western regions of the Indian Ocean and can reach up to 2,000 nautical miles.

The question about its use came in the backdrop of Nasa having declared that it would aid countries in the search for the missing airline. China already having deployed 10 satellites for use brought up the question whether India’s space assets could also be used.

Now that Malaysia has sent in a request to India to cover major regions of the Indian Ocean, the Navy is said to be utilising its services.

What the satellite may pick up, no one is clear. Experts say the satellite cannot have a clear image of the aircraft from such a height because the aircraft would be a speck.

However, with hope and a positive attitude, around 12 countries are doing everything they can. India was also requested to help in the multi-nation search.

Rukmini plays an important role in networking the entire Navy — from warships to patrol vessels, to submarines to aircrafts so that the Navy is secure in its communications within a single communication system.
DH News Service

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