What is Mission Shakti Indian Anti-satellite Missile ASAT

  • 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.

Hemanth Kasturi

    General Studies Tutor at SSBCrackExams, Graduate in Aeronautical Engineering, Cleared NDA, CDS, INET, AFCAT exams.

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