On February 27, Indian Air Force’s Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman became first pilot in the world to shoot down an F-16 with a MiG-21. Exactly a month later, India entered the elite club of global space power to have the its own satellite weapon. In a highly-anticipated address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced about ultra-secretive ‘Mission Shakti’, which lasted for just three minutes. “A while ago, India achieved a historic feat. India today registered itself as a space power. Till now, 3 countries of the world- America, Russia and China had this achievement. India is the 4th country to have achieved this feat,” PM Modi said in his address to the nation.
Giving key details about the mission, PM Modi announced India’s anti-satellite missile system with a successful test against a low earth orbit satellite. “India is only the 4th country to acquire such a specialised & modern capability. Entire effort is indigenous. India stands tall as a space power! It will make India stronger, even more secure and will further peace and harmony,” PM Modi said on Twitter after the national address.
However, PM Modi added that, “A-SAT missile will give new strength to India's space prog. I assure int'l community that our capability won't be used against anyone but is purely India's defence initiative for its security. We're against arms raised in space. This test won't breach any international law or treaties.”
#MissionShakti is special for 2 reasons:— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 27, 2019
(1) India is only the 4th country to acquire such a specialised & modern capability.
(2) Entire effort is indigenous.
India stands tall as a space power!
It will make India stronger, even more secure and will further peace and harmony.
Mission Shakti was led by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, was aimed at strengthening India’s overall security, PM Modi said.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari was among the first leaders who congratulated PM Modi and the scientists for the successful mission. “Congratulations to all the scientists for carrying out "Mission Shakti" successfully. India is moving fast towards becoming a world leader, and under PM Modi's leadership, it is on its way to not only become a 'super economic power', but also a 'super science power',” Gadkari said.
The Prime Minister had advertised his address to the nation on Twitter, calling it an important message. “Do watch the address on television, radio or social media,” he said, setting off speculation across the country on what the topic was likely to be. Earlier in the day, the Cabinet Committee on Security had met at the Prime Minister’s residence.