India confirms first anti-satellite weapon test

On 27 March, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that country’s scientists had earlier destroyed a low earth orbit satellite with a missile, demonstrating India’s capacity as a “space power”.

An anti-satellite weapon, known as an ASAT, successfully targeted a satellite on a low earth orbit in a classified recent test, said Narendra Modi.

ASAT are space weapons designed to incapacitate or destroy satellites for strategic military purposes. Several nations possess operational ASAT systems, with others in development or design.

“Today is 27th March. A while ago, India achieved a historic feat. India today registered itself as a space power. Till now, 3 countries of the world- America, Russia, & China had this achievement. India is the 4th country to have achieved this feat,” he said.

Though India has had the technical capability to develop ASAT weapons since 2012, agencies had in the past not been given the political go-ahead for the project. The Prime Minister emphasized in his address that the missile is not directed against any nation and that India remains against the use of arms in space.

“The ASAT missile will give new strength to India’s space programme. I assure the international community that our capability won’t be used against anyone but is purely India’s defense initiative for its security,” he said.

The test of a new anti-satellite weapon system was codenamed the Mission Shakti.

“Mission Shakti was a highly complex one, 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,” the Narendra Modi said.

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