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Former DRDO chief praises PM Modi for Mission Shakti, says India uses space for peaceful purpose

ANI  |  General News 

Former Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief and NITI Aayog member Dr VK Saraswat on Wednesday praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the successful test of India's first anti-satellite weapon--A-SAT--on Wednesday.

Dr Saraswat, while talking to ANI, said: "If today nations across the world want to militarise the space, India has the technological capability to match them. We use space only for peaceful purposes and that is what Prime Minister Modi has been saying. This launch is not against any nation. It is basically to create a technological capability in India."

Anti-satellite weapons or A-SAT are space weapons designed to incapacitate or destroy satellites for strategic military purposes. Although no A-SAT system has yet been utilised in warfare, a few nations have shot down their own (defunct) satellites to demonstrate their A-SAT capabilities in a show of force. Before India successfully tested A-SAT weapon, US, Russia, and China have demonstrated this capability successfully.

Asked if the project could have been completed earlier, he said: "DRDO had made presentations in this regard during the regime of UPA--II as well to then Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon. If the nod had been given at that point of time, we would have demonstrated this kind of capability earlier."

In reply to a question, he said: "These discussions were held in the presence of all the concerned authorities. Unfortunately, we did not get the response to go ahead. Since there was no response from the government and no necessary financial resources were provided, we did not go ahead with the programme."

"It was during the tenure of Manohar Parrikar as the Defence Minister of India that the proposal was put forth by Dr G Satheesh Reddy, current Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Security Advisor Ajit Doval shared the details with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The importance of such technology was highlighted to him. The Prime Minister showed the courage and vision to go ahead with the project," he said.

Space scientists on Wednesday joined hands in hailing the success of 'Mission Shakti' and termed the historic feat as the demonstration of India's space power and political will. "We have mastered anti-satellite capability and we have today shown that we can hit satellites at long ranges with a few centimetres accuracy," DRDO chairman G Satheesh Reddy told ANI earlier in the day.

"Mission Shakti not only demonstrates the country's space power but also speaks volume about our political will," said former Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist Ravi Kumar Gupta.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that anti-satellite (A-SAT) weapon has successfully destroyed a decommissioned Indian satellite on a low earth orbit (LEO), joining a group of three countries--US, Russia and China.

"This is a great moment for us. India has become one of the four nations which have the capability of destroying an active satellite in the space and that too in a matter of minutes," Gupta told ANI.

Former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief G Madhavan Nair said: "I would like to congratulate Prime Minister Modi for having a political will to take such a decision and implement it within a short time."

"When Chinese did this kind of experiment, there was a lot of uproar from the international community as they polluted the entire space but here we have taken a wise decision to have a satellite made by ISRO and demonstrated that we can kill live satellite using our own anti-satellite system," he said.

Former ISRO Scientist Nambin Narayanan said: "It is a complex technology, which is difficult to achieve. We have the ability to destroy an enemy satellite. If you are powerful, then you have a status in the world whether you like it or not.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 27 2019. 18:53 IST