New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the country on Wednesday announcing that India has entered the elite club of nations to have military capabilities in space.
PM Modi informed that Indian scientists shot down a low earth orbit satellite using an A-SAT, being the fourth nation only after US, China and Russia.
The 'Mission Shakti' operation by the DRDO and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the PM said, involved the A-SAT destroying the live satellite, all in three minutes. The satellite that has been destroyed was 300 kilometres away.
"In the journey of every nation, there are moments that bring utmost pride and have a historic impact on generations to come. One such moment is today," Modi said in Wednesday’s broadcast to the nation on television, radio and social media
Speaking on the same, former Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) chief and presently a member of the Niti Aayog, VK Saraswat said, “Purpose of this launch is not weaponisation of the space. It’s like any other weapon that is used as a deterrent. It is not against any particular nation. It is a demonstration of our own technology.”
A breakthrough emerged in 2012 when V.K. Saraswat, then the chief of the DRDO, announced that India has all the building blocks in place to integrate an anti-satellite weapon to neutralize hostile satellites in low earth and polar orbits.
In an interview in 2012, Saraswat suggested that India’s anti-ballistic missile (ABM) defense program could be utilized as an A-SAT weapon, along with its Agni series of missiles. This was corroborated by DRDO, which said that the Indian Ballistic Missile Defence Program can incorporate anti-satellite weapon development.
In conversation with News18, Saraswat credited DRDO for the achievement and said, “all this will be integrated into a very effective missile.”
He further elaborated that DRDO has been working on missile technology for years, Agni V was the last. “We already had building blocks,” he added.