Tilla Satellite Launch Centre

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"Tilla" redirects here. For the village in Estonia, see Tilla, Estonia.
Tilla
Mashhood Test Firing Range (MFTR)
Agency overview
Formed Classified
Preceding Agency Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL)
Jurisdiction Pakistan federal government
Headquarters Tilla Jogian, Jhelum District, Punjab, Pakistan.
33°20′N 73°17′E / 33.333°N 73.283°E / 33.333; 73.283
Employees Unknown (2008)
Annual budget See the budget of SUPARCO
Parent agency Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO)
Website SUPARCO MFTR home page

Tilla Satellite Launch Centre, primary known as Tilla Range, is a (spaceport) 25 km west of Jhelum city in Punjab. The facility is also known as Mashhood Test Firing Range (MTFR). The spaceport has been used as a launch site for the Hypersonic Rocket Launch Vehicle Project (HRLV) and Ghauri ballistic missiles under development by the Khan Research Laboratories.[1]

Location[edit]

Tilla is an eastward continuation of the Salt Range in Jhelum District, Punjab, Pakistan, 3,242 feet above the sea. From the Bunha torrent the range rises rapidly to the culminating peak of Tilla Jogian and thence sinks as rapidly, but a series of low parallel ridges runs out across the valley of the Kahan. During British Rule, the hill was sometimes used as a summer resort by officers of Jhelum District. A famous monastery of Jogi fakirs is situated here.[2]

History[edit]

The exact timing of construction of Tilla Satellite Launch Centre is unknown and unclear. According to science sources from Pakistan, it is believed that the spaceport was built and indigenously constructed by SUPARCO sometime in 1989.[3][4] The space facility is based on the model of Chinese space and missile sites, notably Base 603 and Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre. TSLC is a defence launch facility (spaceport). The facility has been used by Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL), Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), and China National Space Administration (CNSA).

Sources also claimed that the Tilla Satellite Launch Centre has been used by the People's Republic of China, and that a large number of Chinese and Pakistani scientists have researched and developed space probes there for needed space research of both countries. The Government of Pakistan has kept Tilla Satellite Launch Centre's information and facts in secrecy; much of the information and facts about the space facility, are unknown and unclear.

The spaceport is usually used to launch vehicles into lower and medium orbits with large orbital inclination angles, as well as testing medium to long-range missiles. Its facilities are state of the art and provide support to every phase of a satellite launch campaign. The site includes the Technical Centre, high-powered radar system, laser-powered radar and telecommunication complex, the Launch Complex, the Launch Control Centre, the Mission Command and Control Centre, several launch pads, and various other logistical support systems.[5]

The spaceport was upgraded by SUPARCO in 1998. The spaceport consists of a supercomputer, missile control system, airborne warning, satellite control room, laser-satellite control system, aerospace control system, electrical communication and information office. The site is also defended by Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft to protect the facility and its scientists from any airborne threat.

References[edit]