In the 21st century, technology is the oxygen of the modern age. Modern equipments like satellites are boon for a country's progress.
Using force to impose demands is no solution in the world where nuclear weapons exist, so the best approach is to gain an upper hand on the adversary is keeping an eye on the enemy.
These types of equipment are also a bane when used by other countries. Keeping these things in mind, Mission Shakti is adopted by India to combat any satellites that are spying on its territory. Let's read more about this technology in detail.
Defence Current Affairs: Mission Shakti
The DRDO-developed Anti-Satellite system (A-SAT) successfully that destroyed a live satellite in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO). With this test, India is only the fourth country after the U.S., Russia and China to have the technology. The test was entirely successful and achieved all parameters as per plans. The test required an extremely high degree of precision and technical capability.
The test was conducted from the APJ Abdul Kalam island in Odisha.
The test implies that India has tested and successfully demonstrated its capability to prohibit and intercept a satellite in outer space based on indigenous technology.
What are anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons?
They are missile-based systems to attack moving satellites. So far, the United States, China and Russia were the only ones who’ve reported the technological ability to shoot down space objects from ground or airborne sources.
The development of such systems has a long history — incited by the Cold War rivalry between the United States and the former Soviet Union. There are different kinds of networks — those that can be launched from the ground or those which can be struck from planes.
In the Cold War/Space Race era, 1985 was the last time that the United States had used an anti-satellite system to destroy its P-781 satellite that had instruments aboard to study solar radiation.
Anti-satellite weapons came back into popular currency after China conducted an anti-satellite missile test on January 11, 2007.
Why is Mission Shakti Pathbreaking?
The use of ASAT is seen as crossing new frontier just like India’s 1998 nuclear tests. Anti-satellite technology has so far been in the hands of very few countries. The acquisition and demonstration of this technology make India a member of an elite group of countries.
The fact that this anti-satellite technology is indigenously developed adds to India’s credentials, given that for many decades India was kept away from acquiring key technologies, forcing the country to develop its own space and nuclear capabilities.
The anti-satellite space technology shows India’s focus on security challenges, emanating beyond Pakistan. The ASAT weapon is likely to be the most potent military tool for the armed forces over the next few decades, notwithstanding a revolutionary technological breakthrough. It could help to cripple our adversary’s communications and expose its ground assets if their space assets were struck.
Why we did the test?
India has a long-standing and rapidly growing space programme that has quickly expanded in the last five years. The Mangalyaan Mission to Mars was successfully launched. After that, the government-sanctioned Gaganyaan Mission, which will take Indians to outer space.
India has undertaken more than 102 spacecraft missions consisting of communication satellites, earth observation satellites, experimental satellites, navigation satellites, apart from satellites meant for scientific research and exploration, academic studies and other small satellites. India’s space programme is a critical backbone of India’s security, economic and social infrastructure.
The test was done to verify that India can safeguard our space assets. It is the Government of India’s responsibility to defend the country’s interests in outer space.
Is India entering an arms race in outer space?
India has no intention of entering an arms race in outer space. India has always maintained that the area must be used only for peaceful purposes. India is against the weaponisation of outer space and supports international efforts to reinforce the safety and security of space-based assets.
India believes that outer space is the common heritage of humankind and it is the responsibility of all space-faring nations to preserve and promote the benefits flowing from advances made in space technology and its applications for all.
The ASAT test is not directed against any country. India’s space capabilities do not threaten any country and nor are they directed against anyone.
At the same time, the government is committed to ensuring the country’s national security interests and is alert to threats from emerging technologies. The capability achieved through the anti-satellite missile test provides credible deterrence against threats to our growing space-based assets from long-range missiles and proliferation in the types and numbers of missiles.
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