The Anti Satellite Missiles of India tested during Operation Shakti

The Anti Satellite Missiles of Indiai

Guys ! Do you Know that India is now the fourth country with Anti Satellite missiles which means that India can target its enemy satellite for its protection. The name of this missile is Prithvi Defence Vehicle Mark-II. It is developed under Project XSV-I. This ASAT missile is a modified anti ballistic interceptor which was tested during “Operation Shakti”.

India’s successful demonstration of the ASAT capability signifies its ability to intercept an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Operation Shakti

The Anti Satellite Missiles of India tested during Mission Shakti

The Indian anti-satellite (ASAT) program utilized spin off technologies from Indian Anti-ballistic Missiles (ABM) systems. India is developing a multi-layered and multi-phased missile defense system to defend against hostile ballistic and cruise missiles. The exo-atmospheric interceptors were meant to be used against Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). The ICBMs have lofted trajectories and fly at high altitudes.

India began to work on its Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) in the year 1999 in response to the threat of China and Pakistan. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Director General Rupesh announced that India was developing the necessary technology that could be combined to produce a weapon to destroy enemy satellites in orbit.

In 2014, India carried out the maiden test of Prithvi Defense Vehicle (PDV). First real time interception test was carried out against a maneuvering target in 2017, followed by another test in 2019. In 2017, India had lost contact with one of its key imaging satellites, RISAT-1.

In 2016, the Indian Government approved a program codenamed Project XSV-1 for an ASAT test. A modified version of the PDV similar to the midcourse ground-based interceptor, officially named PDV MkII was tested against a satellite on 27 March 2019.

DRDO has also been working on directed energy weapons, electromagnetic pulse and co-orbital weapons for ASAT roles.

Anti Satellite Missiles specifications

Mission Shakti

In Operation Shakti, the interceptor struck a test satellite at a 283 Km altitude in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). This made the Mission Shakti a successful ASAT Missile Test. The Interceptor was launched around 05:40 UTC at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Abdul Kalam Island and hit its target after 168 seconds. The target satellite was the Microsat-R satellite which was an experimental imaging satellite launched for military use. 

The interceptor missile involved in the test had a hit-to-kill capable Kinetic kill vehicle.  It had a length of 13 m and a diameter of 1.4 m. Being a three-stage missile, it was fitted with two solid-propellant rocket motor stages and the Kill vehicle. The combined weight of the first and the second stages is 17.2 tons, with the third stage weighing 1.8 tons. The first two stages can carry 16.7 tons of fuel

The missile was capable of shooting down targets moving at a speed of 10 km/s at an altitude as high as 1,200 km. In order to minimize the threat of debris, the interception was performed against an object moving at 7.4 km/s at an altitude below 300 km. The missile reportedly hit the satellite with an accuracy of less than 10 cm, which is comparable with the best reported performance of ASAT missiles. The interceptor missile is capable of shooting down all the satellites present in low Earth orbit.

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