Shailesh Kumar, National Defence
New Delhi, 06 April 2019
A special interaction session was organized by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), here today to present first-hand account of the mission details, development milestones including technological aspects of Mission Shakti. Many eminent serving/retired strategic experts, technocrats, diplomats, top brass of Armed forces, Scientific fraternity across various departments participated in the deliberations.
DRDO presented the objectives, mission challenges and achievements of the Anti-Satellite Test (A-SAT).
DRDO had successfully conducted an Anti-Satellite Missile Test (A-SAT) ‘Mission Shakti’ from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha on March 27, 2019 and made India join the select group of three nations (USA, Russia and China) possessing such capability.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Principal Scientific Adviser Govt of India, Prof. K Vijay Raghavan, Deputy National Security Advisers Pankaj Saran & Rajinder Khanna, Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy K. N. Vyas, Secretary Dept of Science & Technology Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences Dr M. Rajeevan, strategic experts and think tank of India, former DRDO chiefs and retired service officers along with Chairman DRDO & Secretary Department of Defence R&D Dr G Satheesh Reddy were present during the event.
BACKGROUNDER- MISSION SHAKTI
An Anti-Satellite (A-SAT) test was successfully conducted by DRDO on 27March, 2019 with a new interceptor missile against alive orbiting satellite in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in a “Hit to Kill” mode. The interceptor missile is a three stage missile having two solid rocket boosters and a “Hit to Kill” capable Kill Vehicle (KV).
The ASAT mission was conducted, as per the directives of the Hon’ble PM in 2016, to demonstrate India’s advancing technological capabilities in engaging space based threats involving complex mission planning and execution.
The geographically distributed C4I weapon system detected, tracked and classified it as a satellite. The mission control centre (MCC) authorized destruction of the target through an assignment to the launch control centre (LCC). The LCC, in turn, computed a feasible intercept solution, prepared and launched the interceptor missile from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island, Dhamra, Odisha. The “Kill Vehicle (KV)” was released as per the real-time computation of the sequence of events followed by the jettisoning of the heat shield.
The KV with innovative design and the indigenous state of the art “Hit to Kill technology” homed onto the target satellite. The advanced terminal guidance with the strap down Imaging Infra-Red (IIR) seeker and Ring Laser gyro based inertial navigation system guided the KV to hit the target satellite at closing speeds of more than 10 km/sec. The Electro Optical Tracking System (EOTS) tracked the entire engagement and captured the “Direct Hit” which was also corroborated by the last image frame of onboard IIR seeker.
Technically, the KV had the capability to neutralize the target satellites in the entire LEO region. However, as a responsible nation for peaceful use of space, India had chosen a much lower orbit of around 300 km for capability demonstration with the purpose of avoiding threat of debris to the global space assets. This ensured that the debris would decay in a matter of weeks.
The successful demonstration of Mission SHAKTI has placed India at par with the elite club of three nations (US, Russia and China) possessing the Anti-Satellite (A-SAT) Capability.