The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is to develop a third series of Insat communications satellites, with a fleet of five craft due to be launched between 1999 and 2005.

The Insat 3s will be the second series to be built by Indian industry. Two indigenously developed Insat 2 craft, the 2D and E, remain to be launched by Ariane boosters. ISRO says that the first two Insat 3s will fly "from abroad" on foreign launchers, but that the next three will be likely to be flown on the country's own geostationary-satellite launch vehicle.

The Insat 3s will be similar to the Insat 2s, but will have a larger number of Ku-band transponders to "-build a communications infrastructure of 130 transponders by 2005", says ISRO.

Source: Flight International