India Has No Plans for Second Test of Anti-Satellite Missile


New Delhi: There are no plans for carrying out a second test of the anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile either in lower or higher orbits after the maiden test earlier this year ticked off all the checkboxes, says media reports.

However, work will continue on improving the missile and technology, sources said.

“There is no second A-SAT test that is being planned. The first test was fully successful. We have proven our capability to the world. Fine-tuning of the systems will of course take place to provide it with more lethality,” a top government official said.

India had successfully test-fired an anti-satellite missile on March 27, knocking off one of its own satellites 300 km in space, thereby joining a small group of countries — the US, Russia and China — to possess such a capability.

Soon after, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Chairman G Sateesh Reddy ruled out future A-SAT missile tests in the lower Earth orbit, but hinted at keeping the options open for possible experiments in higher orbits.

Reddy said the interceptor used for the A-SAT missile test had the capability to hit targets 1,000 km away, but DRDO had intentionally chosen the target at an altitude of 283 km to prevent the creation of space debris.

The interceptor missile was a three-stage missile with two solid rocket boosters.

While there are other ways to demonstrate A-SAT capabilities such as “fly-by tests” and jamming, India had relied on the “kinetic kill technology”.

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