India's ‘satellite killer’ to take on China
it appears, is now on the verge of entering the rare domain of space
wars. Indian scientists at the Defence Research and Development
Organisation (DRDO) are working on a weapon system to eliminate enemy
satellites operating in low-earth orbits. The move to create this
‘satellite killer’ appears to have been prompted by a similar
anti-satellite test conducted by China in January 2007. In the Chinese
test, a missile was launched that completely decimated an old weather
satellite Fengyun 1C that was orbiting 500 miles from the earth.
file picture of a canister-launched surface-to-surface "Shourya"
missile developed by the Defence Research & Development
Organisation (DRDO). REUTERS
Although the Indian response,
if we may call it that, has been slightly delayed, the DRDO confirms it
is on track. DRDO Director General V K Saraswat announced as much to
reporters on the sidelines of the 97th Indian Science Congress in
Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday. He said blocks of such technology were
being developed, which could be used to build a weapon if the country
"We are working to ensure space security and protect
our satellites. At the same time we are also working on how to deny the
enemy access to its space assets," he said.
destroying enemy satellites, which operate in low-earth and polar
orbits, and are used for network-centric warfare, India will be able to
cut off the "enemy" from access to its space assets. And in India's
case, the enemy appears almost certainly to be China, since the
neighbour has already made its intentions to target India very well
known through various incendiary moves launched in the recent past.
from the Chinese anti-satellite test, which is but one among others,
and whose larger objective seems to be to contain US moves to have
complete control over space-based assets, China has indicated in other
ways that India could figure very highly in its space-based operations.
For instance, while China has nuclear warhead 'de-targeting' and
'non-targeting' deals with Russia and the US in the 1990s, it has not
signed a similar agreement with India, despite repeated requests from
New Delhi to this end.
But this is nothing compared to China's
offensive moves. India's Defence Ministry has revealed in its annual
reports that Chinese warheads targeting many Indian cities are being
kept ready in the northern regions of the Tibet and Kunming military
canister-launched surface-to-surface "Shourya" missile is launched by
India's Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) from
Integrated Test Range (ITR) Balasore, in the eastern Indian state of
Orissa November 12, 2008 REUTERS
In the mid-1990s, China
opposed a European move to set up space-based cooperation systems in
India. At the same time, in 1999, it tested an anti-ballistic missile
system in Tibet aimed at countering "multiple launches from a
Ironically, both India and China share
avowedly similar positions on space operations. Firstly, both are
restricted by a no-first-use doctrine. What's more, both have indicated
in their official documents that they oppose outer space weaponisation.
This position has been compromised first by China's anti-satellite
tests and now by India's move to do the same.
The process to
develop this 'kill vehicle' is currently under way in India under the
Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) programme. DRDO insists that the
development of such technologies is intended to have a deterrent effect
on enemy countries. "Certainly, many of these technologies will not be
used. I hope they are not used," Saraswat said.
Source: India Syndicate
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