Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that India had demonstrated anti-satellite missile capability by shooting down a low-orbit satellite, describing it as a rare achievement that puts the country in an exclusive club of space super powers.
In his announcement of Mission Shakti’s success, Modi said the action was not directed any country and that the satellite was a pre-determined target orbiting at an altitude of 300 km. The prime minister did not say who owned the satellite but added that India does not breach any international laws or treaties.
Quoting sources, news agency ANI reported that the target was a decommissioned Indian satellite which was eliminated within three minutes. The anti-satellite (A-SAT) weapon was launched at 11:16am, the report added. India is only the fourth country to acquire such specialised and modern capability after the US, Russia and China. The “entire effort is indigenous. India’s stands tall as a space power. It will make India stronger, even more secure and will further peace and harmony”, Modi said.
The prime minister had advertised his address to the nation on Twitter, calling it an important message.
“Do watch the address on television, radio or social media,” he said, setting off speculation across the country on what the topic was likely to be.
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