A-SAT Current Affairs - 2020

EMISAT adds to India’s Defence Capability

After the successful test of A-SAT through Mission Shakti, India’s defence capability has got a further boost with the successful launch of the ElectroMagnetic Intelligence Satellite (EMISAT).


  • EMISAT was jointly developed by ISRO and DRDO, two frontline research agencies of the country.
  • EMISAT will allow India to intercept the radars by detecting the electromagnetic rays from “enemy radar”.
  • EMISAT will cater to India’s strategic defence needs by strengthening the armed forces ability to intercept radar signals and gauge a variety of parameters and understand various details.
  • EMISAT will allow India to know what kind of radar is at work on the other side, based on the spectrum and we will be able to read the distance between the radar and Indian assets too.
  • The satellite has been placed in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at an orbit about 700 km from Earth as the objective is to detect low power radar signals. Such radars are typically used to track by low-altitude air-borne vehicles, including aircraft and drones.

The Ministry of Defence had initiated the development of the satellite under the project titled Kautilya, which was first openly acknowledged in 2013-14. But the DRDO has since maintained secrecy about the project.

Mission Shakti

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India has successfully test-fired an anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile by shooting down a live satellite. The project named as Mission Shakti was led by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was aimed at strengthening India’s overall security.

Key Facts about Mission Shakti

  • DRDO-developed A-SAT system successfully destroyed a live satellite in the Low Earth Orbit.
  • India is only the fourth country after the U.S., Russia and China to have the A-SAT technology.
  • The PM Narendra Modi in his address has made clear that the intent of DRDO’s “Mission Shakti” is to defend India’s space assets and not to start an arms race in space.
  • The indigenous development of the A-SAT technology will have many spin-offs that India can exploit for civilian commercial use.
  • The test was carried out from the Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam Island launch complex off the coast of Odisha by the DRDO.
  • Since the test was done in the lower atmosphere, whatever debris that is generated will decay and fall back onto the earth within weeks.
  • Mission Shakti does not violate the 1967 Outer Space Treaty of which India is a signatory. The treaty prohibits only weapons of mass destruction in outer space, not ordinary weapons.

The ASAT test was not directed against any country. India’s space capabilities neither threaten any country nor are they directed against anyone. But as an added advantage the capability achieved through the anti-satellite missile test provides credible deterrence against threats to our growing space-based assets from long-range missiles and proliferation in the types and numbers of missiles.