When it comes to space weapons, the majority of people still consider them sci-fi territory. India however, made a bold statement and just triggered a ballistic space weapon. This is unfortunately one of the cases, where technological advancement doesn’t necessarily result in progress for humanity.

The ongoing arms race between India and Pakistan is picking up steam. With India’s space weapons now being operational, a dangerous point has been reached. The deployed ballistic space missile was used as an anti-satellite weapon. Referred to as “Mission Shakti”, the missile shot down a satellite in low-orbit.

With the satellite taken down, India has joined China, Russia and the United States as a “space power”. The country’s Prime Minister was quick to congratulate the Indian army on the success of the operation.

India is also a nuclear power and the recent weeks have seen a huge increase in weapon storage. In an attempt to display military strength, the country commissioned 750 000 brand new assault rifles. If that was not enough, India also leased a nuclear submarine from Russia. The deployment of the space weapons was by far the biggest display of strength in the arms race against Pakistan.

The anti-satellite (ASAT) missile found its target on March 27th in the earliest hours of the morning. The destroyed satellite is projected to have been orbiting space 300km in space. After the operation finished, the Prime Minister stated:

“As of the today, the world knows India is a space power. We have launched an ASAT missile to take down a functioning satellite 300km away in Low Earth Orbit. This is an incredibly important step for us in order to secure India’s national security.”

Space Weapons will hopefully be used to enforce peace

The operation comes at a very important time. There is much tension between India and Pakistan and there have been increasingly more discussions about a possible war. Two months ago, the military tension reached its peak when Pakistani terrorists launched a suicide attack and India replied with airstrikes.

The current arms race is a result of that tension and Pakistan placed the majority of its F-16 fighter fleet on the border. With space weapons now on the table, Modi believes that India has the upper hand.

Space weapons will without a doubt be a serious discussion in the future. Last year, President Trump announced to the world that he is creating America’s Space Force.

Just last month, Donald Trump revealed his Space Policy and that sparked a lot of controversy.

While some people still think that space weapons are within the realms of sci-fi, the reality is completely different. India is giving a clear message to Pakistan: “Back off”.

Pakistan is also a nuclear power and has over 150 nuclear warheads at its disposal. With military tensions rising up, it would be of no surprise if Pakistan will flex some military muscles of its own.

While Prime Minister Modi states that the space weapons will help in ensuring the peace, all facts point to increase military activity. We can only hope that the issues are resolved peacefully and the new technology is used to explore space and help humanity rather than create more wars.

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