NEW DELHI, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- India on Friday successfully launched its first indigenous defense satellite, GSAT-7, by European space consortium Arianespace's Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou spaceport in French Guiana, sources said.
With the launch, India joined a select group of countries to have a dedicated defense satellite.
"The 2.5 tonne satellite, made by the state-owned Indian Space Research Organisation, was put into orbit after a flight of 34 minutes following its launch. It is to likely to be operational by next monthend," the sources said.
The multi-band communication satellite is to be used by the Indian Navy to keep a vigil on Indian waters as well as surrounding seas.
India has successfully launched lighter satellites in recent years, but faced problems with heavier ones.
India had earlier this month put off the launch of its home- made heavy rocket, carrying a communications satellite, from the southern spaceport of Sriharikota after smoke was detected coming out of the engine.