India had anti-satellite capabilities from over a decade but previous government lacked courage to exhibit: Suggest former ISRO and DRDO bosses

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday morning informed all the countrymen that India has entered an elite league of nations which possess space warfare technologies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation announced that India had successfully displayed anti-satellite missile capability by shooting down a live satellite.

However, if former top bosses of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the two institutions primarily involved with the operations, are to be believed then India had the capabilities from over a decade but past governments lacked the political intent to exhibit them publicly.

former DRDO chief Dr VK Saraswat on Wednesday said that he had written to the UPA government in 2012, explaining that the DRDO had the capability to carry out the crucial test. “A-SAT Missile test was not allowed earlier,” Saraswat told Times Now on Wednesday. The former DRDO chief speculated that perhaps it was the “fear psychosis” in the UPA administration that probably prevented the Manmohan Singh government to give a mission clearance for carrying out the test.

“The clearance was given to the DRDO by this (Modi) government. Such kind of courage was not present in the previous government,” the UPA-era DRDO chief told Times Now.

Talking to news agency ANI, Saraswat also said, “We made presentations to National Security Adviser&National Security Council, when such discussions were held, they were heard by all concerned, unfortunately, we didn’t get positive response (from UPA), so we didn’t go ahead.” He added, “When the proposal was put up by Dr Satheesh Reddy & NSA Ajit Doval to PM Modi, he had the courage & based on that he gave a go ahead. If the clearances were given in 2012-13, I’m quite certain that the launch would have happened in 2014-15.”

Similarly former ISRO chairman turned politician G Madhavan Nair said that India had the anti-satellite missile capability more than a decade ago but there was no political will at the time to demonstrate it. He said when China shot down an ageing weather satellite by launching a missile in 2007, India had the technology to undertake a similar mission. “…now (Prime Minister Narendra) Modiji has taken the initiative and he had the political will and courage to say that we will do this. We have now demonstrated this to whole world,” Nair told

He had headed the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), Space Commission and was Secretary in the Department of Space from 2003 to 2009. Nair joined the BJP in October 2018.

The prime minister on Wednesday announced India had demonstrated the capability by shooting down a live satellite, describing it as a rare achievement that puts the country in an exclusive club of space superpowers.
India is only the fourth country to have such a specialised capability after the US, Russia and China.