Wednesday morning, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in a broadcast that Indian scientists had destroyed a low-Earth orbit satellite with a missile, demonstrating India's capacity as a "space power" alongside the U.S., Russian Federation and China.
India has entered its name as an elite space power. "Our scientists used an anti-satellite missile to bring down a live satellite, 300 kilometers away in space".
But analysts said the test would not go unnoticed in China and Pakistan, India's chief rivals in the nuclear-armed region, and could be interpreted as a show of New Delhi's advancing military capabilities.
India sucessfully tested A-SAT missile on Wednesday after it shot down a low-orbit satellite. This not only helps safeguard space assets from long-range missiles, but also signifies India's strategic repositioning by leveraging the interceptor, part of the ongoing ballistic missile defence programme, as an offensive option.
"One of the big risks of a hit-to-kill [anti-satellite weapon] is that it shatters the target, leaving a cloud of lethal debris that threatens other satellites", he said.
"The test was a reflection of India's growing capability to develop critical technology and it will act as a good deterrence", he said.
"We have been working on ASAT capabilities for some time".
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Adil Bennani, another Moroccan, said, "The faces changed and the smiles on New Zealanders' faces disappeared". His father, Syed Ayaz Ahmed, family members and government officials received his body at the airport.
The announcement of the anti-satellite test comes a month after spiraling tensions with archrival Pakistan had raised fears of another conflict between the two countries. The clearance was given to the DRDO by this (Modi) government.
Although he faces criticism for failing to deliver on high economic growth and create jobs, a hawkish position on security should help Mr Modi at the ballot box, pollsters say.
In an unexpected address to the nation Wednesday, Modi called it a major breakthrough in the country's space capability.
In 1985, the United States tested the ASM-135, launched from an F-15 fighter, destroying a USA satellite called Solwind P78-1.
China provoked global alarm with a similar test in 2007.
Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi congratulated India's scientists on the feat but also wished Modi "a very happy World Theatre Day" - referring to celebrations also marked around the globe on March 27. "The debris is still there", Dr. Chander said, adding it would remain for decades and could become a hazard for any new satellites. School children held flags in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad celebrating the test.
The United States ran the first anti-satellite test in 1959, when satellites themselves were rare and new. "We have always maintained that space must be used only for peaceful purposes".