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No intention of entering into arms race in outer space: India after ASAT test

Representative image. Photograph:( AFP )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 27, 2019, 04.36 PM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

India has said it has no intention of entering into an arms race in outer space and Anti-Satellite Missile(ASAT) test was done just to "verify" that the country has the "capability to safeguard our space assets."

The test, Mission Shakti which was carried out by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and was conducted from the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island launch complex. 

Remember that has been a long-standing policy of the Indian government there should not be any weaponisation of Outer Space and that space must be used only for peaceful purposes.

The Ministry of external affairs( MEA) frequently asked questions (FAQ) released after the test said, "India believes that Outer space is the common heritage of humankind and it is the responsibility of all space-faring nations to preserve and promote the benefits flowing from advances made in space technology and its applications for all."

With this test, according to the FAQ, "India was able to demonstrate its capability to intercept a satellite in outer space based on complete indigenous technology. DRDO’s Ballistic Missile Defence interceptor was used to target an Indian satellite."

On the question of why the test was done now, India said since it had "acquired the required degree of confidence to ensure its success".

Since the test was done in the lower atmosphere, India has said, there isn't much space debris. Finance minister Arun Jaitley in a presser said, "In a matter of three weeks the whole environment will be debris free".

New Delhi in the past has participated in Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination (IADC) activities with regard to space debris management.

India has also already clarified that the test is not against any country and the test provides deterrence against threats.

India is a party to all the major international treaties relating to Outer Space.

New Delhi supports UNGA resolution 69/32 on No First Placement of Weapons on Outer Space and has called for substantive legal measures to ensure the prevention of an arms race in outer space.

India has also ratified the 1967 Outer Space Treaty which prohibits weapons of mass destruction in outer space.