India successfully shot down a satellite in low earth orbit using an Anti-Satellite (A-SAT) missile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his address to the nation on Wednesday.
“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. India has successfully tested the Anti-Satellite (ASAT) Missile. Congratulations to everyone on the success of Mission Shakti,” PM Modi said.
Saying India is only the fourth country to achieve this capability, PM Modi said the country stands tall as a space superpower.
“India has achieved a phenomenal accomplishment today. India today registered its name as a ‘Space Power’. So far, Russia, the United States and China had achieved these status; India has achieved this achievement,” he said.
Sharing details of the operation, the prime minister said: “‘Mission Shakti’ operation was a difficult target to achieve which was completed successfully within three minutes of launch.”
PM Modi also said today’s development will not change India’s opposition to the presence of weapons in space. “Today, we have enough satellites that are contributing in various segments such as agriculture, disaster management, communication, weather, navigation etc. India has always been against the presence of weapons in the space and this development will not change our stand,” he said.
The A-SAT missile used in today’s demonstration was developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation as part of its ongoing ballistic missile defence program, the Ministry of External affairs said. Any space debris created will decay an fall back onto the earth within weeks, it added.
Today’s test, the MEA said, was done to verify that India has the capability to safeguard our space assets. It added that the test was not directed against any country. “India’s space capabilities do not threaten any country and nor are they directed against anyone. At the same time, the government is committed to ensuring the country’s national security interests and is alert to threats from emerging technologies,” the MEA said in a statement.