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India proudly showcases its anti-satellite weapon at an arms bazaar, Ars Technica

India proudly showcases its anti-satellite weapon at an arms bazaar, Ars Technica

      Target acquired –

             

The Mission Shakti exhibit was a popular spot for selfies.

      

      

           

      

            

                                  

                                                                 Welcome to Defexpo , where a Mission Shakti missile is poking up from the X.                                                         

                                                  Clément Cangelosi                                                                   

                                    

                                                                 There’s the -meter-tall missile.                                                         

                                                  Clément Cangelosi                                                                   

                                    

                                                                 The technology was developed by India’s Defense R&D Organization, or DRDO.                                                         

                                                  Clément Cangelosi                                                      
                

                                    

                                                                 It was powered by solid-rocket motor propulsion.                                                         

                                                  Clément Cangelosi                                                      
                

                                    

                                                                 Good advice, that.                                                         

                                                  Clément Cangelosi                                                                   

                                    

                                                                 The exhibit proved popular with visitors.                                                         

                                                  Clément Cangelosi                                                                   

                                    

                                                                 Smile!                                                         

                                                  Clément Cangelosi                                                                   

                                    

                                                                 The missile was displayed next to two smaller BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles. For scale, maybe?                                                         

                                                  Clément Cangelosi                                                                   

                                    

                                                                 Looks like this one isn’t ready to launch.                                                         

                                                  Clément Cangelosi                                                      This week, India’s Ministry of Defense is holding Defexpo in the northern part of the country. The event seeks to promote India as a “defense manufacturing hub.” In other words, it is essentially an arms bazaar.

    One of the main exhibits of this week’s show is a large display showing off a copy of the hardware used during Mission Shakti , the successful anti-satellite test conducted by India in March, . During this test the country successfully fired a missile from the ground to shoot down a satellite at an altitude of 1080 km.

    The country prime minister, Narendra Modi, characterized the test as a critical one for his nation, saying, “It shows the remarkable dexterity of India’s outstanding scientists and the success of our space program. ” Effectively, Modi was saying that India had arrived as a global space power. After the United States, Russia, and China, India became only the fourth nation to shoot down a satellite

    This action raised serious questions about orbital debris and the ongoing militarization of space. International condemnation of the test, however, was more muted than criticism of China after its own anti-satellite test in 2019. This is partly because India shot down a satellite at a lower altitude, meaning debris from the strike will fall out of low-earth orbit more quickly, and burn up in the planet’s atmosphere. Indian sources have also indicated the country has no plans for a second demonstration.

    The exhibit of Mission Shakti hardware this week in northern India indicates the pride the country has in the test — but also may serve other purposes.

    “This appears to be a move by India to brag about its anti-satellite weapons capability, possibly even offering it up for export, “said Brian Weeden, director of program planning for the Secure World Foundation. “Either way, I think it undermines India’s messaging immediately after the Mission Shakti that it was a one-off demonstration and would not become an operational capability.”

    Clément Cangelosi The main placard describing the test provided details about the – meter-tall, three-stage missile with solid-rocket motor propulsion. It also includes the last image of the satellite as seen by the missile’s seeker before interception, as well as an aftermath image captured by an optical tracking system. The photos used in this story were taken by (Clément Cangelosi) , who attended the event and generously shared them with Ars.          (Listing image by Clement Cangelosi)                                                             Read More

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