India has become the fourth nation in the world after United States, China and Russia to demonstrate anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile capability by shooting down a satellite. Nation greeted the announcement of the successful conclusion of Mission Shakti with kudos for the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Quoting sources, news agency ANI reported that the target was a decommissioned Indian satellite which was eliminated within three minutes. The A-SAT weapon was launched at 11:16am, the report added.The satellite that has been destroyed was 300 kilometres away. This makes India one of the few countries to possess this technology. Mission Shakti, which was led by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, was aimed at strengthening India’s overall security.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that India had demonstrated A-SAT 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.
But what is it that makes the ASAT tests significant? AVM (retd.) Manmohan Bahadur said, “It’s a demonstration, a show of strength. Any country that chooses to use satellite technology against India, including in espionage, will know that we can protect our assets. This is significant.”
Former ISRO chairman K. Kasturirangan said he was proud that the country successfully demonstrated A-SAT missile capability and termed it a crucial step in the space.
The scale and timing of the announcements, a fortnight before first phase of polling, triggered a political slugfest with the opposition parties threatening to approach the Election Commission.