Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India shot down a Low Earth Orbit satellite, which was a pre-determined target. He said India has become a “space superpower” with the successful testing of anti-satellite weapon.
PM Modi said India is only the fourth nation after the US, Russia and China.
“A short while ago, India has shot down an LEO satellite by anti-satellite missile. It was conducted under Mission Shakti, which was completed in three minutes,” PM Modi said in a special address.
“India has entered its name as an elite space power. An anti-satellite weapon, A-SAT, successfully targeted a live satellite on a low earth orbit,” the prime minister said in a televised address.
A Low Earth Orbit refers to an Earth-centred orbit at an altitude of 2,000 km. A-SAT is a weapon system that is designed to destroy or incapacitate satellites.
PM Modi said Mission Shakti is an important step towards securing India’s safety, economic growth and technological advancement.
The prime minister said, “A-SAT missile will give new strength to India’s space programme. I assure the international community that our capability won’t be used against anyone. It is purely India’s defence initiative for its security. We are against arms race in space. This test does not breach any international law or treaties.”
PM Modi described Mission Shakti special for two reasons -
1. India is only the 4th country to acquire such a specialised and modern capability, and
2. Entire effort is indigenous. “India stands tall as a space power,” he said.