NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India said it carried out an anti-satellite missile test on Wednesday to deter threats to its space assets from long-range missiles but that it had no plans to enter into an arms race in outer space.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the test conducted on a live Indian satellite as a major breakthrough and said India was only the fourth country to have used such an anti-satellite weapon after the United States, Russia and China.
“The capability achieved through the anti-satellite missile test provides credible deterrence against threats to our growing space-based assets from long range missiles, and proliferation in the types and numbers of missiles,” the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement.
The ministry added that the test was done in the lower atmosphere to ensure there is no debris in space and that whatever is left will “decay and fall back onto the earth within weeks”.
Reporting by C.K. Nayak; Writing by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani