India on Wednesday become only the fourth country in the world to have successfully tested an anti-satellite missile in space. The announcement in this regard was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a televised address to the nation. The PM said in his address that the objective of 'Mission Shakti' was achieved just three minutes after launch after the missile shot down a live satellite on a low earth orbit (LEO).
Before India, only United States, Russia and China possessed Anti-Satellite Weapon System (ASAT) capability. The ASAT missile can be fired from air land or sea and it is capable of either destroying or interfering with targeted satellites in space.
Here are some of the pictures of the ASAT missile which was used in Wednesday's test by DRDO:
The PM, however, clarified that India won't use the ASAT missile against anyone and that it is a defence capability. The ASAT is developed by Defense Research and Development Organisation.
The Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Interceptor Missile developed by DRDO successfully engaged an Indian orbiting target satellite in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in a ‘Hit to Kill’ mode. The interceptor missile had two solid rocket boosters and was a three-stage missile. The scientists involved in 'Mission Shakti' tracked data from range sensors to confirm that the mission met all its objectives.
— ANI (@ANI) March 27, 2019
The ASAT missile works with the help of radar on ground which identifies the target and tracks the movement of satellite which is to be shot down. After this, the three-stage missile is launched from the launcher. After few minutes, the heat shield separates from the missile and the missile then hit the fixed target.
Prime Minister Modi congratulated DRDO scientists involved in developing the anti-satellite missile technology and said, "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. On 27 March 2019, India has successfully tested the Anti-Satellite (ASAT) Missile. Congratulations to everyone on the success of Mission Shakti".
"The main objective of Mission Shakti was to demonstrate to the world its capabilities which are purely defensive in nature and are not against any country. This mission is about the economic and technological development of the country. Mission Shakti was a highly complex one and it was conducted at extremely high speed with remarkable precision. It shows the remarkable dexterity of India’s outstanding scientists and the success of our space programme," he added.