“Today is 27th March. A while ago, India achieved a historic feat. India today registered itself as a space power. Till now, 3 countries of the world- America, Russia, & China had this achievement. India is the 4th country to have achieved this feat,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday after a DRDO missile tested off the Odisha coast successfully hit a low orbit satellite.
“Mission Shakti was a highly complex one, conducted at extremely high speed with remarkable precision. It shows the remarkable dexterity of India’s outstanding scientists and the success of our space programme,” the PM said.
“The ASAT missile will give new strength to India’s space programme. I assure international community that our capability won’t be used against anyone but is purely India’s defence initiative for its security,” he said.
The Anti Satellite (ASAT) test took the world by surprise given that India in the past has maintained that space should be a frontier for peace and should not be militarised. The last nation to demonstrate ASAT capability was China when its test in 2007 was met with international disapproval.
China destroyed a satellite in 2007, creating the largest orbital debris cloud in history, with more than 3,000 objects, according to the Secure World Foundation.
“I want to assure the international community that our newly acquired capability is not targeted at anyone. This is a defence capability of an India which is progressing at a rapid pace. India has always been opposed to weaponization of space, and today’s test does not alter that position. Today’s test does not violate any international law or treaty. We will only use modern technology for the security and welfare of 130 crore Indians. A strong India is necessary for the security of this region. Our strategic goal is to ensure peace and not create an environment for war,” the Prime Minister said.
India would only be the fourth country to have used such an anti-satellite weapon after the United States, Russia and China, said Modi.