Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the afternoon of Wednesday, announced the success of the test of Anti-Satellite Missile, Code name-Mission Shakti. India became the fourth country to develop the capability of destroying enemy satellites in the case of conflict. However, do we really need such kind of missiles in our arsenal?
India is one of the fastest growing space powers in the world, with missions like Chandrayaan-2 and Gaganyaan in its pocket. It is important to safeguard India’s growing space programme because in the time of war, the enemy may want to destroy our communications and navigation capabilities, for example, by destroying our navigation satellites, Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). A-SAT missile capability will give a sense of fear in the minds of the enemy that if they will destroy Indian satellites, India will retaliate and they will meet with the same fate.
The United Nation’s Group of Governmental Experts began its work on the prevention of arms race of the outer space in 2018, along with prevention of installation of arms in outer space. India is a member of Group of Governmental Experts along with Russia and China. Both the countries have proposed a treaty to place a ban on orbital weapons. India with proven space technology like other advance nations will play a key role in the future in the drafting of international law on prevention of an arms race in outer space.
The capability achieved through the Anti-Satellite missile test provides credible deterrence against threats to our growing space based assets and against our enemies in the case of a conflict. Indian scientists in the past had spoken of the capability to develop such kind of technologies and the Anti-Satellite test has sent a strong message to all countries over the world.
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Article written by Syed Sajjad Abidi exclusively for www.DefenceNews.in