Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the country has shot down a satellite in low orbit, entering an exclusive club of nations that have developed anti-satellite weapons.
In an unexpected address to the nation Wednesday, Modi called it a major breakthrough in the country’s space capability. A missile fired from eastern India brought down the satellite in low Earth orbit about 300 kilometers away in an operation that lasted “three minutes,” he said.
Modi said the test was not designed to create “an atmosphere of war.”
“I want to assure the world community that the new capability is not against anyone. This is to secure and defend fast-growing India,” he said.
India is the fourth country after the United States, China and Russia to have used an anti-satellite weapon.
“India has registered its name in the list of space superpowers. Until now, only three countries in the world had achieved this feat. There can be no prouder moment for any Indian,” Modi said.