Mission Shakti: India’s formidable growth in space military capabilities

Two years back on March 27, 2019, India successfully tested the entirely indigenous Anti-Satellite (ASAT) Missile, formally named 'Mission Shakti', which ensured India's entry into the elite space power group
Mission Shakti: India’s formidable growth in space military capabilities

New Delhi: Two years after it successfully shot down a satellite in space, India has been working to increase its military capabilities in Space as the DRDO has developed sensors and satellites along with ground stations to help the defence forces in warfare. Mission Shakti, the vantage point of viewing India's formidable space military capabilities, was special for 2 reasons. One, India became only the 4th country to acquire such a specialised & modern capability. And two, this entire effort was indigenous. "On this occasion, Secretary DDR&D and Chairman DRDO, Dr G Satheesh Reddy, greeted the contributors and encouraged the scientific community of DRDO to dedicate their efforts towards development of cutting edge technologies and #defence #systems for #AtmaNirbharBharat" DRDO said on Twitter. 

However, looking at the developments in terms of India's military capabilities in space, things have moved significantly ahead. "The Mission Shakti demonstrated the capability of India to take down any satellite. In the last two years, a lot of work has been done to increase the country's capabilities in space through the development of sensors and satellites by the Space group formed within the DRDO," sources at the defence research organisation said.

Mission Shakti

'Mission Shakti' is the name of an Anti-Satellite (A-SAT) missile test launch which was successfully conducted by DRDO from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha on March 27, 2019. The DRDO developed A-SAT Missile successfully engaged an Indian orbiting target satellite in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in a 'Hit to Kill' mode. The interceptor missile was a three-stage missile with two solid rocket boosters. Most importantly, tracking data from range sensors had confirmed that the mission met all its objectives. The entire effort was indigenous which demonstrated the Nation's capability to develop such complex and critical missions. A number of industries also participated in the mission. With this success, India became the fourth nation in the world to possess such a capability.

The test also helped the country develop deterrence capability against adversaries who may want to attack Indian satellites to cripple systems in times of war.

After that, the Defence Space Agency was set up in Bengaluru under an Air Vice Marshal-rank officer and will gradually take over the space-related capabilities of the three forces. The government has created agencies for tackling space and cyber warfare along with a Special Operations Division to tackle the need for special operations required to be carried out both inside and outside the country.

Space research agency under the DRDO

On the completion of two years to Mission Shakti, defence sources said along with the Defence Space Agency formed after the Cabinet Committee on Security approval, the government had also approved a space research agency under the DRDO to develop military capabilities in space. "Work is in progress to provide enhanced Signal Intelligence (SIGINT), Communication Intelligence (COMINT) and Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) capabilities of the defence forces," the sources said.

"Especially, in view of the Chinese aggression activities in the last year, work is also in progress to provide higher resolution imagery to armed force to analyse the development in-ground and keep a closer eye there," the sources added.

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