India Claims Successful Anti-Satellite Weapon Test

Mar 28, 2019, 01:19
India Claims Successful Anti-Satellite Weapon Test

India has completed testing the Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile under the name of "Mission Shakti" on Wednesday, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi announced today afternoon.

Responding to a question about whether Russian Federation has tested anti-satellite weapons as the United States intelligence reported earlier, the Kremlin spokesman said as follows: "You should address this question to U.S. intelligence, the Americans should explain what they mean". He said India did not breach any global laws or treaties by testing the the anti-satellite missile. "This question should be addressed to military specialists and not to the presidential administration", Peskov clarified.

India would only be the fourth country to have used such an anti-satellite weapon after the United States, Russia and China, said Modi, who heads into general elections next month.

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A missile fired from a testing facility in Odisha, eastern India, downed the satellite at around 300 kilometers (185 miles) in "a hard operation" that lasted around 3 minutes, Modi said. "Until now, only US, Russia and China could claim the title. It shows the remarkable dexterity of India's outstanding scientists and the success of our space programme", the Narendra Modi said.

The anti-satellite attack was part of a test of recently developed technology. "If all the countries are doing it, then India with proven capabilities is not going to fall behind, is it?" according to Karnad.

"India has always been opposed to the weaponization of space and an arms race in outer space, and this test does not in any way change this position". "Until now, only three countries had achieved this feat".

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Prime Minister Modi was quick to point out how the test did not break any global laws and agreements, because it was carried out in space.

The following year, the United States used a ship-launched SM-3 missile to destroy a defunct spy satellite in Operation Burnt Frost. That weapon has yet to be tested against a live satellite target.

The main opposition Congress party, whose leader Rahul Gandhi is challenging Modi, congratulated scientists on their "groundbreaking achievements". School children held flags in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad celebrating the test. "It's an attempt to bolster nationalist fervor by another means", Mukhopadhyay said, after realizing the patriotic mood generated by tensions between India and Pakistan was "not sufficient" to continue until the end of elections.

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"I don't think Pakistan has acquired that level of accomplishment yet by itself, but Pakistan is no longer seen alone", Uday Bhaskar, director of Society for Policy Studies a Delhi-based think-tank, told Reuters.