WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India
Mar 27, 2019, 05.49 PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted from his official handle this morning that he is going to announce something very important in the next 15 minutes, and urged the people to listen to the announcement.
The actual address was, however, delayed by a few minutes and by then, Twitter was abuzz will all kinds of wild guesses and anxiety:
When his address began, PM Modi announced that India had shot down a low earth orbit satellite with an A-Sat (anti-satellite) missile. With that, Modi added, India had become an "elite space power".
Only three countries - America, Russia and China - the prime minister said, have this capability. India is the fourth to join the club.
The operation had been called "Mission Shakti", and consisted of the A-Sat missile shooting down a live satellite in low earth orbit. The entire operation, Modi said, had taken three minutes.
Modi added that India's A-Sat missile was not meant to be used for offence, but for defence.
Later, at a press conference, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said criticised the previous governments for not giving permission to build the anti-satellite missile.
"The process started in 2014 after the PM gave the permission, it's a huge achievement, not only we have become space power but we are now in big four. We should not forget that tomorrow's wars will not be the same as yesterday's wars," said Jaitley.
Targeting the Congress, he said those patting their own back for India's strategic missile programme were doing so for wrong reasons.
PM Modi said that India's A-Sat missile was not meant to be used for offence, but for defence.