A new satellite program is launched by Pakistan as a part of their continuous efforts to make the country independent on foreign-owned properties for military and civil applications. For this, Pakistan pushes a homegrown satellite expansion.
Pakistan’s private space agency, SUPARCO (Space & Upper Atmospheric Research Commission) will be given a budget of more than 40 million dollars for fiscal 2018-19.
From this, around 22 million dollars are assigned for the establishment of a space research center in Karachi and also for space centers in Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore. These are related to Pakistan’s Multi-Mission Satellite program. Around 470 million dollars are expected to be required as the final cost for all the three aspects of the project. This is reported in a local media.
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A sensor-equipped electro-optical satellite and a radar-equipped synthetic aperture listed in some satellite programs show that there is some foreign cooperation on this attempt of Pakistan’s space agency. But there was no response from SUPARCO about this when asked by Defense news agency.
PAKSAT-1R is an existing communication satellite co-developed in Pakistan and was launched in China. This was by CGWIC (China Great Wall Industry Corporation) in the year 2011.
Brian Cloughley, a former defense attaché from Australia said that it is necessary for all countries to deprive themselves of US developed satellite programs. This attempt of Pakistan is their first step towards this. China is also giving their support for this.
China’s satellite navigation system has given their access to Pakistan’s military for military applications. This had special inference for the effectiveness of its sea-based restrictions. A satellite development program agreement with Turkey was made by Pakistan as a part of this.
The main problem with all these space development is Pakistan’s poor economic condition. It is dire and difficult to meet such a big budget. Cloughley believes that it will take a long time to make things come real and commitment to this will not meet the requirements of fund approval internationally.
Brian Weeden, an expert in satellite and space technologies, is unaware of any satellites developed by China for Pakistan’s space mission. He said that China’s space technology is good and developing. But they are not still as developed as the US or European space technologies and it is unknown that whether China’s technologies in this area can meet Pakistans’s needs.