New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that India has registered its name among the elite space superpowers after an anti-satellite weapon A-SAT was successfully tested in the Low Earth Orbit, under- Mission Shakti.

Under the mission, the anti-satellite missile struck down another satellite, thus hallmarking another success to the credit of the Indian space community.

“Mission Shakti operation was a difficult task, but it was achieved within three minutes of the launch of A-SAT,” the prime minister said while adding that the mission did not violate any international treaty.

With this new feat, India has become the fourth nation after the United States, Russia and China to develop A-SAT that targets satellites in Low Earth Orbit.

Hailing the efforts of all scientists involved in the mission, the Prime Minister said, “This was a great operation which required high-quality technical capacity… all targets and objectives have been achieved and it is a matter of great pride for all Indians.”

The Prime Minister then assured his international counterparts and watchdogs that this missile is strictly a defence initiative and does not violate any treaty. “A-SAT missile will give new strength to India’s space programme. I assure the international community that our capability won’t be used against anyone but is purely India’s defence initiative to strengthen its security… This test won’t breach any international law or treaties,” he remarked.

Concluding his address, the Prime Minister congratulated everyone on the success of Mission Shakti and added, ” ‘Mission Shakti’ is an important step towards securing India’s safety, economic growth and technological advancement.”

Speaking to news agency ANI, former DRDO chief and NITI Aayog member Dr VK Saraswat said, “This is a fantastic capability to have and it gives us a deterrence in case our adversaries try to militarise the space or try to prevent us from using our existing space capabilities.”