India has added another milestone to its list of space achievements on Wednesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India has successfully launched a A-SAT missile and shot down a low orbiting satellite.
While only the US, Russia and China had this capability, India has joined the league, adding this crucial element to its strategic arsenal.
Think of a scenario where during a strategic confrontation with one of its neighbours, India observes its target first using its imaging satellites via the Cartosat series obtaining intelligence. Have this, coordinates are then passed to fighter aircraft who strike their precise targets using the Indian made GAGAN GPS network.
Denied using the American GPS system during Kargil, India realized the value of depending on its own satellites and capability during a time of war.
However, such satellites especially may come under fire from neighboring China in trying to assist its longtime proxy Pakistan. In taking out one or two of India’s Gagan GPS satellites, it may interfere with the whole network and targeting acquisition for its fighter jets and missiles that India is presently trying to enforce.
However, this may mean that India will not take things lightly. It can launch a retaliatory attack towards China’s own military satellites effectively wreaking havoc with their own targeting system. It effectively means that India can truly rely on the security of its own Gagan GPS network to truly use satellite-based resources when it comes to targeting and networking the Armed Forces as a whole without significant concern for a retaliatory strike.
Not only this, but India has been working on a missile defense shield over the last decade. This really shows the culmination of DRDO efforts in building an exoatmospheric system to not just target satellites but to also target IRBM and ICBM missiles up to a height of approximately a thousand kilometers.
One can see from the pictures that this is indeed the mobile launch system based off a modified TATRA truck. This would mean that not just the launch systems developed are to not only shoot satellites out of space but well within the range of also shooting Pakistan’s Ghauri or Shaheen missiles out of space as well. This is really a culmination of the ballistic missile defense system, exoatmospheric test of the PDV (Prithvi Defence Vehicle). What makes the ASAT test more commendable is that the satellite travelling in low earth orbit, moves much faster than a ballistic missile and hence more harder to hit.
While the initial missile tests were more endo-atmospheric, what can be seen from this Exo-atmospheric test as well is that not only is it mobile with mobile radars to detect such a missile launch, but it also means that such a missile is also solid fueled.
This would mean that it has a short reaction time allowing the missile to quickly launch and engage its target well into space. We can see that the whole operation lasted a total of three minutes from actual detection of the satellite to launch and the destruction.
One can understand the strategic shift that has taken place with such a missile launch. Pakistan has no option but to claim, as they normally do, some moral high ground with regard to such a test.
On a more national note, it seems that Narendra Modi can do no right as per Opposition parties’ perception of him. They have yet again shown that they have nothing really substantive to offer apart from keep making a false noise against his personality for that own political gains.
Multiple news agencies are now reporting how the DRDO executives begged AK Antony, when he was defense minister in the Congress government, to allow them to complete such a test. But they were categorically denied.
The Congress government over the last decade has blood of thousands of Indians on its hands for not taking the decisive action that they should have in the wake of such terrorist attacks. Congress president Rahul Gandhi instead of coming out to celebrate such a capability ended up wishing the Prime Minister ‘happy theater day’.
He should have plainly acknowledged the decisive nature of this government when his own government failed to do so. What did the Congress government do during the Mumbai terror attack?
Numerous other politicians can only find fault to credit their own personal gains with elections around the corner. Today, it’s really another feather in the cap for DRDO which has long been maligned for numerous delays in many of its flagship projects.
However, the DRDO should be acknowledged as a rising technological organisation not just in India but the world as well in the length and breadth of products that it has produced for the Armed Forces. Once fully established, the ballistic missile defense system (BMD) would be a credible deterrent to any first launch strike from Pakistan.
It’s time to start giving credit where credit is really due, to not only the DRDO but also to the decisive leadership of Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in really trying to make sure that the country and its borders are truly safe from our neighbours and their destructive agenda.