VK Saraswat, former DRDO chief and the now member of the NITI Aayog, told ET that he had made detailed presentations showing the technical feasibility of the system to the top leadership, including the National Security Advisor (NSA) but was not given a go ahead.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had the technical capability to develop an anti-satellite (ASAT) system in 2012 but despite efforts of the top missile scientist to get financial sanctions, the project was not given a go ahead.
Former DRDO chief Dr VK Saraswat said: “We made presentations to National Security Adviser & National Security Council, when such discussions were held, they were heard by all concerned, unfortunately, we didn’t get a positive response (from UPA), so we didn’t go ahead.”
He added: “When proposal was put up by Dr Satheesh Reddy & NSA Ajit Doval to PM Modi, he had the courage & based on that he gave a go ahead. If the clearances were given in 2012-13, I’m quite certain that the launch would have happened in 2014-15.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that India had demonstrated anti-satellite missile capability by shooting down a live satellite, describing it as a rare achievement that puts the country in an exclusive club of space super powers.
India is only the fourth country to acquire such a specialised and modern capability after the US, Russia and China. The test, ‘Mission Shakti’, was successfully held at the Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Island, off the Odisha coast.