US didn’t spy on India’s A-SAT test: Pentagon

Washington: The Pentagon has strongly denied of the reports claiming that the United States spied on India’s anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile by sending a reconnaissance aircraft from its base in Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to monitor the development.

However, it has agreed that the US was, in fact, aware of India’s first test-fire of an anti-satellite missile. “No US assets were spying on India. In fact, the US continues to expand its enduring partnership with India, resulting in enhanced interoperability and stronger economic ties,” US Defense Department spokesperson Lt Col David W Eastburn told PTI.

Aircraft Spots, which monitors military air movements, had said that a US Air Force’s reconnaissance aircraft from its base in Diego Garcia went “for a mission in the Bay of Bengal to monitor India’s anti-satellite missile test”.

This was interpreted by many that the US spied on India’s A-SAT test.

“I don’t think that it implies coordination between India and the US,” astronomer Jonathan McDowell from the prestigious Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics told news agency PTI on the Aircraft Spots report.

“This implies that the US intelligence community was aware of the test in advance because to some extent they’re spying on India,” he alleged.

“Everybody spies on their friends as well as their enemies. That’s the way the world works these days. It would be surprising if the US were not detecting or observing the launch site and aware of activities preparing for the test. So one assumes that they knew it was coming,” he claimed.

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