Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced the success of India's Mission Shakti programme which empowers India with anti-satellite weapon technology. (Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced the success of India's Mission Shakti programme which empowers India with anti-satellite weapon technology. (Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint)

Mission Shakti: All you need to know about ISRO, DRDO's A-SAT missiles

  • Mission Shakti is India's anti-satellite (A-SAT) weapon programme led by DRDO and ISRO
  • The A-SAT weapon was launched from DRDO's testing range in Odisha's Balasore. It shot down an out-of-service Indian satellite

Catapulting India into an elite league of countries with anti-satellite (A-SAT) weapons, Mission Shakti is a joint programme of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). In a rare televised address to the nation, PM Modi announced the success of the space defence mission programme when he declared that India has shot down a low-orbit earth satellite at a height of 300 km from the earth's surface.


Here are five things to know about Mission Shakti:

1

The entire operation of Mission Shakti took just three minutes. The US, Russia, and China already have the A-SAT technology. Describing Mission Shakti as a highly complex one, PM Modi credited the scientists for achieving the entire pre-decided target. "This valour was achieved through indigenously built anti-satellite missile," he said. According to ANI, the A-SAT weapon was launched around 11:16 am on Wednesday and targeted an Indian satellite which had been decommissioned. Mission Shakti was carried out from DRDO's testing range in Odisha's Balasore.

2

"We have mastered anti-satellite capability and we have today shown that we can hit satellites at long ranges with a few centimeters accuracy," DRDO chairman G Satheesh Reddy told ANI.

3

Brahma Chellaney, a security expert at New Delhi's Centre of Policy Research, said the United States, Russia, and China were pursuing anti-satellite (A-SAT) weapons. "Space is being turned into a battlefront, making counter-space capabilities critical. In this light, India's successful 'kill' with an A-SAT weapon is significant," he told Reuters.

4

Arvind K John, an analyst at the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation, said the A-SAT weapon is likely to be the most potent military tool for the armed forces over the next few decades, notwithstanding a revolutionary technological breakthrough. PM Modi has asserted that Mission Shakti will not have any effect on India's status in the MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) or other such treaties.

5

The acquisition of this A-SAT technology is also expected to have spinoffs that India can exploit for domestic and international commercial use. Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Mission Shakti's success will help in strengthening India’s defence capabilities. "We are proud that our space and defence programme has touched unprecedented heights with this glorious achievement," he said on Twitter.

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