Today, on March 27, 2019 India conducted Mission Shakti, an anti-satellite missile test, from the Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam Island launch complex.
This was a technological mission carried out by DRDO. The satellite used in the mission was one of India’s existing satellites operating in lower orbit. The test was fully successful and achieved all parameters as per plans.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated scientists of Defence Research and Development Organisation for successfully completing the operation named ‘Mission Shakti’
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. With this test, India joins an exclusive group of space faring nations consisting of USA, Russia and China.
The satellite used in ASAT test was an Indian satellite. The DRDO’s Ballistic Missile
Defence interceptor was used, which is part of the ongoing ballistic missile defence programme.
India used the Kinetic Kill technology to demonstrate ASAT capabilities instead of “fly-by tests and Jamming because India has developed kinetic kill capability.
Space technologies are constantly evolving.
India has used the technology that is appropriate to achieve the objectives set out in this mission. Indias test is a clean test and poses no harm to space. The test was done in the lower atmosphere to ensure that there is no space debris.
Whatever debris that is generated will decay and fall back onto the earth within weeks. India has a long standing and rapidly growing space programme.
It has expanded rapidly in the last five years. The Mangalyaan Mission to Mars was successfully launched. Thereafter, the government has sanctioned the Gaganyaan Mission which will take Indians
to outer space.
India has undertaken 102 spacecraft missions consisting of communication satellites, earth observation satellites, experimental satellites, navigation satellites, apart from satellites meant for scientific research and exploration, academic studies and other small satellites.
Indias space programme is a critical backbone of India’s security, economic and social infrastructure.
The test was done to verify that India has the capability to safeguard our space assets. It is the Government of India’s responsibility to defend the country’s interests in outer space.
The tests were done after India had acquired the required degree ofconfidence to ensure its success, and reflects the intention of the government to enhance India’s national security. India has seen
an accelerated space development programme since 2014.
India has no intention of entering into an arms race in outer space. We have always maintained that space must be used only for peaceful purposes. We are against the weaponization of Outer Space and support international efforts to reinforce the safety and security of space based assets.
India believes that Outer space is the common heritage of humankind and it is the responsibility of all space-faring nations to preserve and promote the benefits flowing from advances made in space technology
and its applications for all.
India is a party to all the major international treaties relating to Outer Space. India already implements a number of Transparency and Confidence Building Measures or TCBMs ‘ including registering
space objects with the UN register, prelaunch notifications, measures in harmony with the UN Space Mitigation Guidelines, participation in Inter Agency Space Debris Coordination
(IADC) activities with regard to space debris management, undertaking SOPA that is Space Object Proximity Awareness and COLA (Collision Avoidance) Analysis and numerous international cooperation activities, including hosting the UN affiliated Centre for Space and Science Technology Education in Asia and Pacific.
India has been participating in all sessions of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of
India supported UNGA resolution 69/32 on No First Placement of Weapons on Outer Space.
We see the No First Placement of weapons in outer space as only an interim step and not a substitute for concluding substantive legal measures to ensure the prevention of an arms race in outer space, which should continue to be a priority for the international community.
India supports the substantive consideration of the issue of Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) in the Conference on Disarmament where it has been on the agenda since 1982.
The principal international Treaty on space is the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. India is a signatory to this treaty, and ratified it in 1982. The Outer Space Treaty prohibits
only weapons of mass destruction in outer space, not ordinary weapons.
India expects to play a role in the future in the drafting of international law on prevention of an arms race in outer space including inter alia on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space in its capacity as a major space faring nation with proven space technology.
India is not in violation of any international law or Treaty to which it is a Party or any national obligation. The test is not directed against any country.
India’s space capabilities do not threaten any country and nor are they directed against anyone.
At the same time, the government is committed to ensuring the country’s national security interests and is alert to threats from emerging technologies.
The capability achieved through the Anti-Satellite missile 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.
India has always been against the militarization of space. USA, Russia and China had the capability.
But Chinese anti satellite program made every peaceful nation worry of their space infrastructure.
China in October 2016 secretly tests an anti-satellite missile launched from it Korla Missile Facility located in remote Xinjiang province.
The test, which was conducted in full secrecy on 30th October, sparked speculation that Beijing was testing a hypersonic orbital weapon aimed at taking down enemy satellites.
The missile DongNeng-3 travelled at hypersonic speed in a complex upward trajectory. The spiral contrails it left during an energy-management steering maneuvers have been widely captured and shared on Chinas social media.
With the development of new weapon China had possed challenge to the security of Indian and American satellites in Orbital altitude ranging from 1000 kilometers to 36000 kilometers.
Indian Satellites under threats from Dong-Neng-3 missiles include- 11 Indian Remote Sensing Satellites, Technology Experiment Satellite, RISAT-2, Cartosat-2, Cartosat-2A, and Cartosat-2B.
India’s first successful anti-satellite test will prove to be a deterrent if any one tries to harm India’s cyber and space infrastructure.
The test signals that China might been developing an Orbital Defence System (ODS) against Indian ICBMs like Agni-VI or a prospective Hypersonic Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) besides an offensive role of satellite killer. China also fears American hypersonic Weapon platforms like X-51a and ICBMs which can pierce its current strategic air defence system (ADS) with capability of nuclear strike.
The Dong Neng-3 or DN-3 missile which it tested aims to track, shoot and kill not only just a orbiting satellite but also the missiles or hypersonic weapon in exo-atmosphere or in earth’s orbit thereby
terminating the missile threat in the earth’s orbit way before entering into its aerospace
or air space.
The Chinese anti-satellite test can not be limited to perfecting a anti-satellite kill vehicle only as China has already proven to posses that capability way back in January 2007.
China had shoot down one of its own aging satellite Feng Yun 1C Polar Orbit Weather Satellite that it had launched into Orbit in 1999.
The capability to intercept was one of the capabilities of the PRC Hongqi-19 missile, and may be employed to intercept high supersonic gliding targets on the offensive.
China has also recently developed KZ-I and KZ-II quick response space launchers. A DN-3 weapon based
on the KZ-11 launcher would be capable of hitting targets at higher orbits.
China has been secretly pursuing a broad and robust array of counter space capabilities, which includes direct-ascent anti-satellite missiles, co-orbital anti-satellite systems, computer network operations, ground-based satellite jammers, and directed energy weapons.
It disguised its anti-satellite tests in 2010, 2013, and 2014 as missile defense interceptor tests. It claimed that each test involved a high-speed intercept of a mock warhead launched by a ballistic missile and not a satellite as a way to avoid debris.
China is the third country after Russia and America to possess the technology. And now India becomes the fourth.
China has constantly militarizing the space while it publicly maintains to be the advocate of peaceful use of space.
India has always been advocating the peaceful use of space. Fearing China’s space program, USA has decided to launch a full fledged space force. You may watch National Defence documentary titled, ‘USA Launched Space Force | Is India Ready For Space War?’. The link is given in the description.
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