Mission Shakti ndia in 2019 conducted an Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test, named , becoming the fourth country in the world to demonstrate the capability to shoot down satellites in orbit. So far, only the United States, Russia and China have this prowess.
More About the Anti Satellite Missile
- India had built the broad capabilities and building blocks to develop ASAT missiles for some time as part of its Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) programme.
- The ASAT missile was a modified exo-atmospheric interceptor missile of the BMD.
- The satellite downed by the ASAT missile was Microsat-R, an imaging satellite.
- Anti-satellite weapons provide the capability to shoot down enemy satellites in orbit thereby disrupting critical communications and surveillance capabilities.
- ASAT missiles also act as a space deterrent in dissuading adversaries from targeting the country’s satellite network.
- ASATs take many shapes, but the clearest examples follow kinetic-kill models, in which an object in space or on the ground is sent to collide with an orbiting satellite, destroying both object and target with the energy of the crash.
- The Indian position is that the ASAT test has provided ‘credible deterrence’ against threats to space-based assets from long- range missiles.
- Being a three-stage missile, it was fitted with two solid-propellant rocket motor stages and the kill vehicle. The combined weight of the first and the second stages is 17.2 tons, with the third stage weighing 1.8 tons. The first two stages can carry 16.7 tons of fuel.
- The kill vehicle had an advanced terminal guidance system on board, including a non-gimballed imaging infrared seeker and an inertial navigation system that used ring-laser gyroscopes, which detected and tracked the Microsat-R satellite in Low Earth Orbit.
- A customized My Stamp on India’s First Anti Satellite Missile (A-SAT) launch was released by the Department of Posts on the occasion of Engineers Day.