Bengaluru: With Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Chairman, DRDO, assertion about achieving accuracy in terms of centimeters during this morning's Anti-satellite weapon (ASAT) test, the country's defence and space programmes not only mirror best-in-the world capabilities utilizing indigenous technology but also the philosophy of deterrence against long range missiles, and proliferation in types of missiles.
Just as nuclear weapons prevent adversaries from attempting audacious assaults, the ASAT would stop them in their tracks from attempting to damage Indian satellites or using space technology to wreck key installations in the country. And just as the United States, Russia and China brought down their own satellites to demonstrate this prowess, ISRO's Microsat-R, weighing more than 700 kg, launched in January 2019 for "defence research," was the target in today's successful test. The missile: a variant of DRDO's ballistic missile defence system.
With scores of Indian satellites forming the backbone of the country's security, economic and social infrastructure, the Union government gave the thumbs-up for a test to verify DRDO's ability to protect these space assets from any adversary.
Though the concept of ASAT was presented by Dr V.K. Saraswat, chief of DRDO, in 2012, his successors and colleagues fine-tuned all technologies, and carried out only after acquiring a degree of confidence about its ability to strike the target satellite with precision. "India has no intention of entering into an arms race in outer space. We have always maintained that space must be used only for peaceful purposes. We are against weaponization of outer space and support international efforts to reinforce the safety and security of space based assets. India is a signatory to the outer space treaty which prohibits only weapons of mass destruction in outer space, not ordinary weapons. India expects to play a role in the future in the drafting of international law on prevention of an arms race in outer space, including prevention of placement of weapons in outer space in its capacity as a major space faring nation with proven space technology," explained a top official of the ministry of defence (MoD).
India, however, has carried out such a test more than a decade after China wrecked its weather satellite, FengYun 1C, with the help of a SC-19 ASAT missile....