- What is Mission Shakti?
It is a programme under which an Anti-Satellite Missile was tested on March 27, 2019, by the DRDO from A P J Abdul Kalam Island launch complex.
- What is an Anti-Satellite Missile?
They are space weapons designed to incapacitate or destroy satellites for strategic military purposes.
- Did we ever use it?
India’s ASAT was just tested but it is not officially used in any war or conflict until now. India supported UNGA resolution 69/32 on “No First Placement of Weapons on Outer Space”.
- Why do we need an Anti-Satellite Missile?
It was done to verify that India has the capability to safeguard our space assets. India’s space must also be secured for many purposes.
- Why ‘only’ in 2019 it was tested?
- The required degree of confidence to ensure its success was achieved by this time and it even reflects the intention of the government to enhance India’s national security.
- India has seen an accelerated space development programme since 2014.
- Timeline of Events
- 1999 – India started to work on Ballistic Missile Development (BMD) program.
- 2006 – India tested its first exo atmospheric interceptor Prithvi Air Defence (PAD).
- 2007 – India tested endo atmospheric interceptor Ashwin/Advanced Air Defence.
- 2007 – Chinese ASAT launched. India began its ASAT journey.
- 2008 – DRDO Director-General and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister V. K. Saraswat hinted that India possessed technology required for an ASAT missile.
- 2009 – India began to work on new exo atmospheric interceptor called Prithvi Defense Vehicle (PDV).
- April 2012 – Saraswat said that India possessed the critical technologies for an ASAT weapon from radars and interceptors developed for Indian Ballistic Missile Defence Programme.
- 2014 – Maiden test of PDV done.
- 2016 – Project XSV – 1 approved by Govt. for ASAT.
- 2017 – First real time interception test of PDV done.
- 2017 – India lost contact to RISAT-1, a key imaging Satellite.
- 2019 – A modified version – PDV Mk II was made. It was tested on 27th March 2019.
- Where did this Missile hit?
- DRDO’s Ballistic Missile Defence interceptor was used. This struck a test satellite at a 283-kilometre (176 mi) altitude in low earth orbit (LEO).
- Microsat-R was the suspected target of the test.
- Is India trying to weaponize outer space?
- Definitely NO. We have no intention of being in that race.
- India is a party to all the major international treaties relating to Outer Space and it implements several Transparency and Confidence Building Measures(TCBMs)
- International Law
- The principal international treaty on space is the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.
- India is a signatory and ratified it in 1982.
- The Outer Space Treaty prohibits only weapons of mass destruction in outer space.
- India expects to play a key role in the drafting of an international law on prevention of arms race in outer space.