Wednesday, March 27, 2019

India Joins Space 'Super League' As It Shoots Down Satellite With Precision Missile

India joins space ‘super league’ as it shoots down satellite with precision missile

India’s high-end missile has shot down a satellite as part of a “highly complex” test launch, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, proclaiming that his nation is now a fourth “space superpower” after the US, Russia, and China.
“Some time ago, our scientists shot down a live satellite 300 kilometers away in space, in low-earth orbit,” Modi said in a televised address. The test was conducted as part of a “highly complex” Mission Shakti, “which was completed in three minutes.”
“India has made an unprecedented achievement today,” Modi reiterated, adding, “India registered its name as a space power.”

Anticipating fears of turning space into warfighting domain and igniting a race between rival powers, the Prime Minister said New Dehli’s space program is about creating an atmosphere of peace, not war.

India’s technological advances are not to be underestimated, Russian military analyst Mikhail Khodarenok told RT, saying that hitting a satellite at 300km was “quite a result.” India is keen to design anti-satellite weapons systems, he said, adding the country “might even consider developing spacecraft able to defend their own satellites.”
While militaries of major world powers rely heavily on anti-satellite weapons, they are also keen to take measures to protect their own satellites in orbit. Destroying enemy space assets might spark chaos “either in peacetime or during hostilities,” the expert explained. Such an attack would shutter navigation and communications, also affecting the use of precision weapons and early warning systems, Khodarenok said.

He singled out three countries that have made significant advances in this field. The US is hastily working on the Х-37В spacecraft, which could be used as “an anti-satellite fighter” in future, he said. Russia is developing its A-235 ‘Nudol’ anti-ballistic missile system as well as the S-500 missiles capable of waging anti-satellite warfare, and China has a top-secret program to design weapons with similar applications.
“Dependence on space [technology] is very high today,” he noted, adding that bringing warfare into orbit “is inevitable.”

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