“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,” announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday after a DRDO missile tested off the Odisha coast successfully hit a low orbit satellite.
India has for the first time tested and successfully demonstrated its capability to intercept a satellite and shoot it down in space based on complete indigenous technology.
Anti-satellite technology has so far been in the works of a few countries, namely, the United States, Russia and China. The acquisition and demonstration of this technology make India a member of an elite group of countries.
However, the indigenous technology has been available with the DRDO since 2012.
“We gave presentations in 2012, seeking project clearances for the Anti-Satellite (ASAT) weapon, unfortunately, the government didn’t respond. The current government appreciated the need for such a capability,” former DRDO chief, VK Saraswat, told India Today TV.
“The issue of space debris is an important concern for the US government. We took note of Indian government statements that the test was designed to address space debris issues,” said a US Department spokesperson.
However the Ministry of External Affairs, right after the announcement made by the Prime Minister, had issued a statement saying that, “Whatever debris that is generated will decay and fall back onto the earth within weeks.”
“We have always maintained that space must be used only for peaceful purposes. We are against the weaponization of Outer Space and support international efforts to reinforce the safety and security of space based assets,” the MEA added.
“Mission Shakti operation was a difficult target to achieve but was completed successfully within three minutes of launch,” PM Modi said in the announcement.
“The interceptor missile was a three-stage missile with two solid rocket boosters. Tracking data from range sensors has confirmed that the mission met all its objectives,” it added.
Targeting and destroying satellites of the enemy can completely halt communication systems of a country and during a conflict, this would mean the enemy could fail to use its missiles or drones.