Published: Wed, March 27, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Anti-satellite weapons - rare, high-tech, and risky to test

Anti-satellite weapons - rare, high-tech, and risky to test

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday addressed the people of the country and announced that India has added its name in the list of Elite Space Powers.

"Some time ago, our scientists shot down a live satellite 300 kilometers away in space, in low-earth orbit", Modi said in a televised address.

"India stands tall as a space power. Until now, only three countries had achieved this feat".

Afterward in an air skirmish, Pakistan shot down one of India's Soviet-era fighter jets, prompting scrutiny of India's aging military hardware.

A pilot was also captured by Pakistan.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, while congratulating the DRDO, targeted the Prime Minister for what she called "drama and publicity mongering". Modi reassured the new technology will not be directed against any country, and that mission Shakti does not violate any worldwide law.

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While reactions to the achievement have been coming in thick and fast, political parties and leaders have also been busy through the day in campaigning and with fine-tuning their election strategy.

In 2008, the United States demonstrated an anti-satellite capability when a U.S. Navy Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Lake Erie launched a Standard Missile-3 interceptor.

Destroying an enemy's satellites, which can provide crucial intelligence and communications in war, is considered an advanced capability.

With satellites increasingly important due to their intelligence gathering role - and major nations seeking to gain a foothold in space - the United States in 2014 rejected a Russian-Chinese proposal for a treaty to ban weapons in space, saying it was "fundamentally flawed" because of the lack of weapons verification measures.

The biopic on PM Narendra Modi is gearing up for release soon which stars Vivek Oberoi as the politician.

"We have always maintained that space must be used only for peaceful purposes", the ministry said. This mission is just a testament of India's progress and technological advancements, and should be seen as a step towards making India a safe and prosperous nation.

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