Pentagon has supported India for acquiring Anti-satellite (A-Sat) missile test capabilities, understanding its concern regarding the “threats” it faces in space.
The commander of US strategic command, General John E Hyten addressed members of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee and said “The first lesson from the Indian A-Sat is just the simple question of why did they do that. And the answer should be, I think to all the committee looking at it, is that they did that because they are concerned about threats to their nation from space, and therefore, they feel they have to have a capability to defend themselves in space,” . This was said while responding to a question from Senators on the need for India to do anti-satellite missile test, and the debris it generated in the space.
Raising the issue on debris, Senator Tim Kaine said “So, they had something in low earth orbit. They used an anti-satellite weapon to down, and it resulted in – the estimate’s right now 400 pieces of debris, 24 which are large enough to potentially pose a threat to the International Space Station,” he said. However DRDO has confirmed that the debris generated would come back to earth in a few weeks
On March 27, India achieved a historic feat by shooting down its own low orbit satellite with a ground-to-space missile, making the country a space power. The test made India the fourth country in the world after the US, Russia and China to have the A-Sat capabilities.