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India has A-SAT capability: Saraswat

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A File Photo of Agni III missile launch. A PTI Photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): India said it had the Agni-3 missile which would be the platform for developing anti-satellite capabilities but hitting a real satellite was not required to validate the technology.

"In Agni-III, we have the building blocks and the capability to hit a satellite but we don't have to hit a satellite... If you hit a satellite, the repercussions are that we will have debris and they will be detrimental to objects in space and it will remain in there for many years," DRDO Chief V K Saraswat said while addressing a press conference on the Agni-III missile.

He said for testing the A-SAT capability a virtual electronic satellite can be launched and can be taken down.

"We will validate the anti-satellite capability on the ground through simulation and there is no programme to do a direct hit to the satellite," Saraswat said.

He said the Agni-III gives the A-SAT capabilities that requires a kill vehicle in the orbit to be guided towards missile and which was developed in the Anti-Ballistic Missile programme. It also gives the ability to propel to the interception orbit.

"With the kill vehicle available and with the propulsion system of Agni 3, that can carry the missile upto 1,000 km altitude, we can reach the orbit in which the satellite is and it is well within our capability," the DRDO Chief said.

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