News & Events


Mission Shakti

Headline : Successful anti-satellite missile test puts India in elite club

Details :

In News

• India successfully conducted an Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test, named Mission Shakti, becoming the fourth country in the world to demonstrate the capability to shoot down satellites in orbit.

News Summary

• Under Mission Shakti, India demonstrated the capability to destroy a satellite in the low earth orbit (LEO) using an anti-satellite missile.

• India became only the 4th country to conduct an Anti-Satellite missile test.

• 3 countries that have tested the anti-satellite missile capability so far include USA, Russia and China.

In focus: Mission Shakti: The A-SAT Missile Test


• The A-SAT missile under Mission Shakti targeted and destroyed a live satellite in the Low Earth Orbit at about 300 km above the surface.

• The missile was launched from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island launch complex near Balasore in Odisha.


• The target chosen for testing the A-SAT was Microsat R.

• Microsat R was an imaging satellite placed in an orbit 274 km above the Earth surface.

• Microsat-R orbiting the LEO has an orbital velocity of 7.8km/s.

Technology: ‘Hit to Kill’

• The anti- satellite test involved the ‘hit to kill’ missile technology.

• Under the ‘hit to kill’ technology, a missile is shot at the satellite in order to hit and kill the satellite.

Kill vehicle technology

• The anti-satellite missile used was an advanced version of ‘Prithvi Defence Vehicle’ of India’s Ballistic Missile Defence system.

• This is because the target satellite was in the 300km orbit.

• The Prithvi Defence Vehicle is an interceptor missile designed to intercept targets in the exo-atmosphere at altitudes of 50-150km.

• The A-SAT missile was based on the exo-atmospheric kill vehicle technology.

• It includes

• A 3-stage interceptor missile

• 2-stage solid propellants

• A long range tracking radar

• Infra-red and radar frequency seekers to reach the target satellite and hit it

Note 1: 2-layered Ballistic Missile Defence System

1st layer

• The single stage solid rocket-propelled Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile.

• The AAD interceptor missile is primarily designed to intercept enemy missiles in the endo-atmosphere at altitudes of 20-40 kilometers.

2nd layer

• Pradyumna Ballistic Missile Interceptor and Prithvi Defense Vehicle are designed to destroy missiles at exo-atmosphere.

Note 2: For higher orbits, the Agni-V-based ballistic interceptors would be used. (because of 5000km range)