Mission Shakti – India’s Strategic Weapon, developed by DRDO

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New Delhi | Published: March 28, 2019 2:55:13 PM

Scientists at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)’s Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) project have been working for more than a decade in developing critical elements needed for destroying ballistic missiles and to destroy satellites.

ASAT COLLAGE MISSION SHAKTIIndia’s Anti-Satellite (ASAT)

India’s Anti-Satellite (ASAT) weapon is based on Agni and AD-2 ballistic missile interceptor programme. Today’s demonstration has today’s test has been a long journey in developing the elements that are needed to bring down satellites and long range missiles. ASATs can render the enemy navigation and communication systems useless as a resource and platform to use their air and missile assets.

Scientists at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)’s Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) project have been working for more than a decade in developing critical elements needed for destroying ballistic missiles and to destroy satellites.

According to experts, the long range boosters that had been used in two previous programmes had to be modified to intercept missiles and satellites and for this all elements have to be aligned. After several simulated tests to ensure there is no space debris, India has now mastered the capabilities.

With growing tensions in the neighbourhood, there could be a direct threat to India’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites which can actually be destroyed by using a technology named KKV (Kinetic Kill Vehicle) or using jamming technologies. India has had a robust missile defence programme and it is a signatory to all the major treaties in relation to outer space through UN Space Committee and others.

According to Air vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur (Retd), Additional Director General, Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS), “It is an important step for Space deterrence. China has this technology. It is part of game in ensuring that adversaries do not gain technological asymmetry in any future war where space will be a big player.”

“The emergence of India as a major defence and space power while keeping in place its commitments to non-proliferation of weapons in space and not against any nation, speaks volumes of its stature as a responsible world power in the comity of nations,” Sandip Somany, President, FICCI said today.

Says Ratan Shrivastava, Advisor, Space Division, FICCI, “For India, as a space faring nation, to develop the capability of ASAT through “Mission Shakti” is a strategic weapon, which can be used in to intercept and interdict, deny and destroy the ability of the enemy to use their space based systems for gather space based intelligence, space based military applications and deny the use of satellites and other spacecrafts as a platform for any offensive operations against India by targeting the adversary country’s surveillance, communication and military satellites.”

According to him it assumes importance as there is a vital need to have deterrence in the vital fourth dimension of Space to safeguard and defend our considerable space assets – and deny the enemy nation to use their space assets against India.

Kill Vehicle as explained by scientists of DRDO is the final missile stage of an interceptor weapon and has been developed as part of the ballistic missile system and has both electronic and radio-frequency guidance that can `home’ in on ballistic missiles and satellites.

When Agni-V Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile was tested in 2012 it had a kill vehicle and a speed of 5,500 km-Agni V. The then DRDO Chief Dr VK Saraswat had termed it as “game changer’’ as it could hit objects in space. During one of the initial tests, it had scaled a height of 600 km before re-entering the atmosphere.

Soon after China had announced its capability shoot down unused satellites in 2007, India tested its own capability in 2012 after DRDO developed all the blocks needed for Anti-Satellite (ASAT) capability. The Space Security Coordination Group (SSCG) set up in 2010 had directed DRDO to accelerate its ASAT capability. India had set SSCG to lay down government’s space policy and matters related to international code of conduct in space.

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