India on Wednesday demonstrated its capability to interdict and intercept a satellite in outer space based on indigenous technology, the government said.
The Anti-Satellite (A-SAT) Missile test, Mission Shakti, conducted from the Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Island launch complex in Odisha, was a technological mission carried out by the DRDO.
An External Affairs Ministry statement said the target satellite was one of India’s existing satellites operating in lower orbit.
“The test was fully successful and achieved all parameters as per plans. The test required an extremely high degree of precision and technical capability. The significance of the test is that India has tested and successfully demonstrated its capability to interdict and intercept a satellite in outer space based on complete indigenous technology,” it said.
With this test, India joins an exclusive group of space faring nations consisting of the US, Russia and China.
The satellite used was an Indian satellite and DRDO’s Ballistic Missile Defence interceptor was used, which is part of the ongoing ballistic missile defence programme.
The test, the statement said, is not directed against any country and India’s space capabilities do not threaten any country.
But it said the government was committed to ensuring the country’s national security interests and was alert to threats from emerging technologies.
“The capability achieved through the A-SAT test provides credible deterrence against threats to our growing space-based assets from long range missiles, and proliferation in the types and numbers of missiles,” it said.
On India using the particular technology of Kinetic Kill when there were other ways to demonstrate A-SAT capabilities such as “fly-by tests” and jamming, the release said: “This is a technology where we have developed capability.”
“Space technologies are constantly evolving. We have used the technology that is appropriate to achieve the objectives set out in this mission,” it said.
The Ministry said the test was done in the lower atmosphere to ensure that there were no space debris. “Whatever debris that is generated will decay and fall back onto the earth within weeks.”
On why was the test done now, the statement said it was done after India had acquired the required degree of confidence to ensure its success and it reflected the intention of the government to enhance India’s national security.
“India has seen an accelerated space development programme since 2014,” it said.