Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a "massive announcement" on Wednesday, just past noon, announcing that India now has its first-ever A-SAT, an anti-satellite weapon, which is capable of tackling any threat in or from space.
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. The ASAT was named SC-19.
After China, USA became the second country to possess the ASAT. Its initial effort in 2006 failed, but less than two years later, they launched the missile successfully and became the second ASAT nation.
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. But not stopping there, the country held four more testing with the missile within the space of three years.
Following are the highlights from India's successful testing of its anti-satellite weapon:
Addressing the nation, PM Modi had mentioned that this will be a 'game-changer' and that the weapon which the country now possesses is just for its own safety, and not as a show of power against any country.
"India has entered its name as an elite space power. An anti-satellite weapon A-SAT, successfully targeted a live satellite on a low earth orbit. India has registered herself as a Space Power today; till now only US, Russia and China have achieved this; now India is the 4th country to achieve this feat. It was a very difficult mission. It is a very proud moment for India and its citizens today. I would like to congratulate the scientists of India who operated the mission successfully," PM Modi added.