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ASAT launch shows India is ready to take on space interception programme, says former DRDO chief

Updated : March 27, 2019 06:41 PM IST

India on Wednesday demonstrated anti-satellite (ASAT) missile capability by shooting down a live satellite. It is a rare achievement that puts the country in an exclusive club of space super-powers and become the fourth nation to join an elite space power league.

Former DRDO chief Vijay Kumar Saraswat, who is now a member of the NITI Aayog shared his views and outlook.

“After the launch of Agni-V and also interception of the ballistic missile in an exo-atmosphere in late 2011 -- based upon the confidence of these two projects -- I had made a statement that India has building blocks for demonstrating the satellite interception. This does not mean that at that point in time we were 100 percent ready for a launch within zero time. What we had done at that time was the theoretical simulation of our performance of various technologies," said Saraswat.

“We had planned – at that time – that we will demonstrate in two steps. The first step was to go for an electronically simulated satellite and then do a real interceptor and having obtained success on that, we would go for the real satellite and show its interception. That was our plan, which we had put across to the government. That would have reduced the number of debris and also to perfect our software, we had done this kind of planning,” he said.

On politicisation of the achievement, Saraswat said, “Those who are giving it a political colour are doing it with their ulterior motive. As far as scientists are concerned, once they are given a clearance by the concerned government body, they work in a mission mode and they decide the time and steps right from the design to development to testing and finally launching a system."
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