You are here: Home » Current Affairs » News » National
Business Standard

India's ASAT test targeted at China, could exacerbate rivalry: US expert

A missile test last moth made India the fourth country in the world after the US, Russia and China to have the ASAT capabilities

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Ballistic Missile Defence Interceptor missile being launched by DRDO in an Anti-Satellite missile test 'Mission Shakti' engaging an Indian orbiting target satellite in Low Earth Orbit in a 'Hit to Kill' mode from Abdul Kalam Island | Photo: PTI
File photo: ASAT missile launch. What India accordingly needs more than ever is effective antidotes to Chinese counter-space capabilities that are not debris-causing, Tellis said

India's carried out last month was clearly targeted towards and could exacerbate New Delhi's rivalry with Beijing, a top US expert has said, underlining that now must brace itself for a long-term space competition.

On March 27, achieved a historic feat by shooting down its own with a ground-to-space missile, making the country a space power. The test made the fourth country in the after the US, and to have the ASAT capabilities.

Ashley J Tellis, and senior fellow at the on Tuesday said,The Indian ASAT test was in actuality a shot across the bow to As such, it will only exacerbate the rivalry with Beijing, even if only silently."

India, therefore, must brace itself for a long-term space competition. If it fails to do so, it will have to contend with the worst of both worlds: heightened threats from China in the face of increasing Indian vulnerability, he said.

"And that would be an unenviable position for as it seeks to play a larger role on the global stage," the top American expert on India said, asserting that India now must brace itself for a long-term space competition.

China is developing its counter-space capabilities in response to the US, and is now threatened by this Chinese programme, he said. India must improve its capacity to use space despite rising Chinese threats, while sustaining its commitment to protecting space for civilian use, he added.

What India accordingly needs more than ever is effective antidotes to Chinese counter-space capabilities that are not debris-causing, Tellis said.

Only such capabilities will enable to credibly deter Beijing's space denial programmes below the levels of ultimate physical violence directed at various the gray zone in which more counterspace activities are likely to materialise in the future, given the growing international antipathy to any actions that make space unusable for human endeavors, he said.

In this context, the best deterrent for New Delhi is to improve its capacity to use space despite the inevitable Chinese interference. There will always be a need for some offensive capabilities, Tellis said.

"India has recognised this reality and as such has begun to develop of the sort exemplified by its ASAT interceptor," he noted, adding that New Delhi has also begun to plan more actively for military space operations, for now focusing mainly on ways to preserve India's freedom to use space for both developmental and strategic reasons without undue interference by others.

First Published: Wed, April 17 2019. 11:55 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU