Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India had joined the US, Russia and China in an elite group of nations that have the capability to target satellites.
In a televised address to the nation, Modi said India has shot down a low Earth orbit satellite, noting the capability was crucial for national security.
“India has today established its name as a space power,” Modi said. “Our scientists used an anti-satellite missile to bring down a live satellite, 300 kilometers away in space.
India’s current range of missiles are mostly intended for confrontation with neighboruing rivals China and Pakistan. India has fought three wars with Pakistan and one with China.
Modi’s address comes just weeks ahead of general elections to determine whether he’ll serve a second term as prime minister. Voting will take place in seven phases between April 11 and May 19, with results to be announced on May 23.