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Anti-satellite missile test not directed at any country, No intention of entering arms race: India

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

India "successfully" carried out an anti-satellite missile test to verify its capability to safeguard space assets and it was not directed against any country, the Ministry of External Affairs said.

The ministry also said India has no intention of entering into an arms race in outer space and it has been maintaining that space must be used only for peaceful purposes.

"The test is not directed against any country. India's space capabilities do not threaten any country and nor are they directed against anyone," the MEA said in a 10-point explainer on the anti-satellite missile test.

In a televised address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday announced that India shot down a satellite in space with a missile, catapulting the country into an elite club of space powers alongside the US, Russia and China.

In 2007, China had carried out an anti-satellite missile test. Experts and former scientists said though India had the capability by 2012 to carry out similar test, political leadership did not give a clearance to it.

"India had the capability to carry out anti-satellite missile test in 2012-13 but there was no political clearance to it," said former DRDO chief Vijay Saraswat.

Explaining significance of the test, the MEA said India has successfully demonstrated its capability to interdict and intercept a satellite in outer space based on complete indigenous technology.

The satellite used in the mission was one of India's existing satellites operating in lower orbit while a ballistic missile defence interceptor was used to hit it.

"We are against weaponization of outer space and support international efforts to reinforce the safety and security of space based assets," the MEA said.

At the same time, it said the government was committed to ensuring the country's national security interests and is alert to threats from emerging technologies.

"The capability achieved through the anti-satellite missile test provides credible deterrence against threats to our growing space-based assets from long range missiles, and proliferation in the types and numbers of missiles," the MEA said in the FAQ.

The MEA said the test was done in the lower atmosphere to ensure that there is no space debris. "Whatever debris that is generated will decay and fall back onto the earth within weeks."

By conducting the test, the MEA said, India was not in violation of any international law or treaty to which it is a party to or any national obligation.

"India expects to play a role in the future in the drafting of international law on prevention of an arms race in outer space including inter alia on the prevention of placement of weapons in outer space in its capacity as a major space faring nation," said the MEA.

"The test was done to verify that India has the capability to safeguard our space assets. It is the Government of India's responsibility to defend the country's interests in outer space," it said.

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

First Published: Wed, March 27 2019. 17:35 IST