Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that India had demonstrated anti-satellite missile capability by shooting down a live satellite, describing it as a rare achievement that puts the country in an exclusive club of space super powers. An anti-satellite weapon or A-SAT was used to target and bring down a live satellite on a Low-Earth Orbit (LEO). India is the fourth nation in the world to achieve the feat.
"Mission Shakti operation was a difficult target to achieve which was completed successfully within three minutes of launch today," PM Modi said in an unprecedented broadcast to the nation on television, radio and social media.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi listed out two reasons explaining why the Mission Shakti is 'special' for India.
India is only the 4th country to acquire such a specialised & modern capability:
India becomes only the fourth country to have such a satellite in its ranks. Prior to India, only China, the United States of America and Russia had the capability to tackle any kind of space threat. China was the first country to have such a missile. It had tested its ASAT on January 11, 2007, when it destroyed one of its weather satellite FY-1C. After China, USA became the second country to possess the ASAT. Before India, it was Russia which entered this category. In November 2015, the Russian government successfully tested its anti-satellite missile called PL-19 Nudol.
Entire effort is indigenous:
A DRDO-developed Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Interceptor Missile was used for the mission which successfully enggaged an Indian orbiting target satellite in Lok Earth Ordbit in a 'Hit to Kill mode, as per statement released by the Ministry of Defence.