Mission Shakti: India tests first anti-satellite missile system1 year ago Bhavitaavya Dharanikota
India has shot down a low-earth orbit satellite in space, propelling itself into an elite club of nations, which has mastered this anti-satellite (ASAT) missile technology. In operation code-named Mission Shakti, the Defence Research and Development Organisation destroyed a defunct satellite in low-earth orbit (LEO). The entire process completed in just three minutes of its launch. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced that India is the fourth country to do so in the world, after the United States of America, Russia, and China. 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 by destroying a low earth orbit satellite in space by using a missile that covered a distance of 300 km to engage the target. The ASAT missile is among the most complex tests carried out by India and can be considered even more advanced than the development of submarine-launched missile systems which was the last big breakthrough in the Indian missile technology. Since no treaties are governing the use of ASAT, India is not in violation of any international conventions.
The use of ASAT is seen as a path-breaker similar to India’s 1998 nuclear tests. Anti-satellite technology has so far been in the hands of very few countries: the United States, Russia, and China. The acquisition and demonstration of this technology make India a member of an elite group of countries. The purpose of an anti-satellite missile system is to destroy enemy satellites and stop the enemy from communicating with troops or accessing vital information about incoming missiles and troop movements. The ASAT weapon is likely to be the most potent military tool for the armed forces over the next few decades, notwithstanding a revolutionary technological breakthrough. China, which began its ASAT testing programme for the first time in 2007 and the latest one last year, had led India to bring changes in its space programme.
India has undertaken 102 spacecraft missions consisting of communication satellites, earth observation satellites, experimental satellites, navigation satellites, apart from satellites meant for scientific research and exploration, academic studies and other small satellites. India’s Mission Shakti is a critical backbone of India’s security, economic and social infrastructure. The tests were carried out after assessing the capabilities to ensure its success. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also made it clear that the capability is only to send a strong message of deterrence and does not target any particular country.