ASAT idea pitched to UPA govt, got no response: former DRDO chief

VK Saraswat said DRDO lacked financial resources then. Photo: UoH/Facebook

Former DRDO chief and NITI Aayog member Dr VK Saraswat said, in an interview with ANI, that the DRDO had made presentations about the anti-satellite weapon (ASAT) during the UPA II regime to then national security advisor Shivshankar Menon. If they had gotten the green signal then, they would have demonstrated this kind of capability earlier, he said.

“These discussions were held in the presence of all the concerned authorities. Unfortunately, we did not get the response to go ahead. Since there was no response from the government and no necessary financial resources were provided, we did not go ahead with the programme,” he explained. After much anticipation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on march 27, announced the successful test of India’s first ASAT.

The missile test is a reflection of the country’s growing capability to develop critical technology and it will act as a good deterrence, said DRDO chairman G Satheesh Reddy. Reddy said clearance for the project was given over two years back.

“It is a great achievement for India,” he told PTI after India shot down a satellite in space with a missile, catapulting the country into an elite club of space powers. Reddy said the technology used for the test has been developed indigenously. The project was implemented in the fastest way possible and it showed the DRDO’s capability in doing such programmes, he said.

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