Indian "Star Wars"

29.03.2019

An anti-satellite rocket has been successfully tested in India. Thus, already four countries can wage war in space.

The announcement of the successful test of an anti-satellite rocket was proudly made on March 27, 2019 by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. According to him, the anti-satellite missile was developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). It is the leading organization in the country, an approximate analogue of the Russian state corporation Russian Technologies, and more, perhaps, the Office of DARPA - Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, also overseeing the development of new technologies for use in the interests of the armed forces.

The PDV Mk II anti-satellite missile was launched from the Abdul Kalam test site on an island in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of the Indian state of Orissa during the test, which was code-named "Shakti". She struck a target satellite in an orbit at a height of 300 km and thus actually enrolled in the club of powers capable of waging war in space. Before India, the United States, Russia and China captured anti-satellite weapons.

Indian Rocket

What is the main difficulty in creating anti-satellite weapons? It’s not about discovering the enemy’s apparatus in time — tracking systems and mathematics with computers here to help the military. And it’s not about destroying this device, it can be done at least with a nut, if you send it so that it converges with the satellite on a collision course. The first two cosmic velocities in addition make wonders in the sense of the magnitude of the final kinetic energy. And no one has canceled the banal explosion of the charge next to the enemy vehicle.

The main problem is that if a powerful launch vehicle is needed to launch a satellite into orbit, a similar one is also needed to launch an anti-satellite device. Here, of course, the principal role is played by the mass of the cargo thrown into orbit - but even the smallest mass must somehow be delivered there.

According to incoming incomplete data, the Hindus used their new PDV (Prithvi Defense Vehicle) antimissile as a base. It is a two-stage solid fuel carrier, made in turn, on the basis of the Prithvi Mk II tactical missile , to which an additional solid-fuel stage was attached.

If you look deeper into the past, you will see that the Prithvi series of missiles (translated from Sanskrit "earth") originates from the Soviet missile from the C-75 Desna complex, the engine of which B-755 is the basis for Indian development.

The Prithvi-II was originally a single-stage liquid-propellant rocket with a launch range of 250 km, carrying a payload of 500-750 kg. Accordingly, Prithvi Defense Vehicle is already a two-stage solid-fuel rocket, which is capable of inter-atmospheric interception of ballistic missiles at an altitude of more than 150 km and with a flight range of 2500 km. Hit the target with that very “nut” - a kinetic warhead. Noah PDV Mk II, having already become a three-stage, made thanks to this another leap forward.

On tests, an anti-satellite rocket hit the Indian military satellite MICROSAT-R (2019-006A) weighing 740 kg. It was declared as a satellite for remote sensing of the Earth. That is a spy satellite. And it was launched recently - January 24, 2019. And now it is unclear whether it was originally intended as a target - then why such a large mass? - or is it out of order? and the Indians just decided to knock it down.

Anyway, at the moment of interception, the target was located above the Bay of Bengal at an altitude of 283 km. The interception was successful, the satellite turned into fragments.

What does this mean for world geopolitics and military strategy?

That India still views the war with China as possible. For this, and not for Pakistan, all its anti-missile and now anti-satellite power is being created. This means that in the shadow of the confrontation between the main nuclear-missile powers, Russia and the United States, there is a quiet but fierce competition between the economic giants - China and India.

The second. India’s entry into space as a military force means not only new evidence of its economic, scientific, technological and military capabilities. This means that space, in spite of any conventions and intentions, is becoming the scene of battle. So far - potentially.