Earlier on Wednesday Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he will soon make an 'important announcement' in an address to the nation, which lead to massive speculation. Later, he announced that India has successfully shot down a Low Earth Orbit satellite with an anti-satellite missile or ASAT. In his address, PM Modi also added that with the success of what he termed as 'Mission Shakti', India has become the fourth country after the US, Russia and China to have tested such an anti-satellite missile.
PM Modi gave his speech in Hindi, which has been translated below in English.
My dear Indian citizens,
Today, on March 27, India has achieved an unprecedented achievement. India has today registered itself as a space power.
So far, three countries in the world - America, Russia and China - had achieved this and now, India is the fourth country. For every Indian, it is a great moment of great pride.
Our scientists killed a live satellite in space, 300 kilometres away.
Live Earth Orbit - This live satellite, which was a pre-determined target, was shot down by anti-satellite, (ASAT) missile. In just three minutes, this operation has been successfully completed.
Mission Shakti - It was a very difficult operation, in which the very high degree of technical ability was required. All goals and objectives have been achieved by scientists.
It is a matter of pride for all Indians that this feat has been proven by India's only developed anti-satellite (ASAT) missile.
Firstly, I would like to congratulate all DRDO scientists, researchers and other related personnel associated with Mission Shakti, who contributed to achieving this extraordinary success. We are proud of our scientists.
Space has become an important part of our life today. We have sufficient number of satellites available, which are making valuable contributions in the development of different areas such as agriculture, defence, security, disaster management, communication, weather, navigation, education, etc.
All the benefits of the satellites are being received by farmers, fishermen, students, security forces. On the other hand, whether it is railways, airplanes, vessels of water being operated, satellites are being used in all these places.
Today's anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile will give a new strength to the country in terms of India's security and a vision of developed journey. I want to assure the world today that it was not directed against anybody.
India has always been against arms race in space and there has been no change in this policy. This test of today does not violate any kind of international law or treaty agreements. We want to use modern technology for the protection and welfare of 130 million citizens of the country.
It is necessary to have a strong India to create an environment of peace and security in this area. Our strategic objective is to maintain peace and not create a war environment.
The main purpose of India's work in the space sector is the security of India, economic development of India and India's technological progress. Today's mission is an important step towards securing these dreams, which was necessary for the protection of these three pillars.
Today's success should be seen as a growing step toward a safer nation, prosperous nation and peace-loving nation in the days to come. It is important that we go ahead and prepare yourself for future challenges.
We have to adopt modern technology to face the challenges of the future and to make positive changes in our people's living standards. All Indians should face the challenges of the future with self-confidence and feel secure, this is our goal.
I have full confidence in the strength, commitment, dedication and ability of my people. We undoubtedly unite and build a powerful, happy and secure India.
I envision an India that can think twice ahead of its time and raise the courage to walk.
Congratulations to every Indian for this great achievement.