Direct Ascent ASAT Technologies

Name of the SystemCountry of OriginBeginning of the developmentFirst known testSuccessful test/useRange of Action (altitude)Current StatusNotes/DetailsSources
A-235 PL-19 Nudol (Система А-235 / РТЦ-181М RTTs-181M / Нудоль)USSR/Russian Federation1985/198612 August 2014Yes~3000kmActiveNudol is developed and manufactured by Russian defense contractor Almaz Antey, which specializes in long range missiles. The weapon was developed from the A-235 anti-ballistic missile system used to protect Moscow from nuclear attacks. The A-235 is designed to destroy incoming missile warheads at very high altitudes, near if not in low-Earth orbit. A system capable of engaging such warheads could also intercept satellites, so Russia built both capabilities into a single rocket system.
79M6 KontaktUSSR1980s1980sApparently yes~600kmDismissedThe system involved the destruction of satellites and ballistic targets using a three-stage rocket with the 79M6 Kontakt kinetic interceptor launched from the MiG-31D carrier aircraft. The first stage of the anti-attack was able to reach an altitude of 120-600 kilometers, the second 1500 kilometers. The anti-satellite system included the 45G6 Krona radar-optical recognition system for space objects, the 46I6 command transmission system, the 30P6 Kontakt anti-satellite aircraft complex consisting of the MiG-31D carrier aircraft and the 79K6 Kontakt rocket with the kinetic satellite interceptor.
S-500 Prometey (C-500 Прометей)Russian Federationearly 2010sUnknownUnknownUnknownDevelopment/ProductionS-500 is an anti-ballisti missile (ABM) system. It should include an exoatmospheric interceptor able to hit not only ballistic missiles but also spacecrafts. In June 2020, General Sergei Surovikin, Commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces, gave a lengthy interview in which he called the S-500 a “first generation space defense system” and noted that it will be capable of defeating low-orbit satellites and space strike systems in the future. v-vozduhe-ostavalos-za-nami/
Bold OrionUSA1950s13 October 1959Yes~200kmDismissedBold Orion and High Virgo were already deployed as ABM weapons when tested for ASAT purposes. They were both air-launched ballistic missiles (ALBM). 
1st Session. House Committee On Science And Astronautics. U.S. Congress. 87th Congress (1961). A Chronology of Missile and Astronautic Events. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. ASIN B000M1F3O0
High VirgoUSA1950s22 September 1959UnknownUnknownDismissed
HiHOUSA1962Apr-62Yes~1600kmDismissedHiHo was a project of the US Navy to acquire ASAT capabilities. HiHo was made by a modified Caleb rocket fired from a Phantom 4D fighter bomber aircraft.
Nike ZeusUSA196217 December 1962YesDismissedNike Zeus consisted of a modified three-stage solid fuel Nike rocket tipped with a one-megaton nuclear warhead. It was believed that detonating the warhead in
close proximity to a target satellite would disable it either through
the resultant fireball or EMP.
Program 437USALate 1950s14 February 1964Yes>1300kmDismissedProgram 437 was developed from ABM technology but replaced the Nike Zeus with a Thor missile allowing for longer range capabilities. Program 437 could target satellites orbiting as high as 1,300 kilometers and used a 1.4-megaton W49 nuclear warhead with a likely kill radius of eight kilometers.  It was tested multiple times against rocket bodies and other space debris to assure the missile could pass within the kill radius without destroying the object and creating unnecessary debris.
ASM-135 Air-Launched DA-ASATUSA1980s21 January 1984Yes~1000kmDismissedwas an air-launched missile developed in response to the Soviet Union’s successful demonstration of a co-orbital ASAT capability and intended to fulfill
the DA-ASAT role without requiring the use of nuclear weapons.439 The missile, produced in 1984, was designed to be launched from a modified F-15A in a supersonic zoom climb and intercept targets in LEO.
SM-3USALate 2000sAs ASAT: 2008Yes<600kmActiveThe ship-based Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) interceptors, part of the Aegis system has been demonstrated in a DA-ASAT role. In 2008, the U.S. Operation Burnt Frost used a SM-3 Block IA interceptor fired from an Aegis Cruiser to destroy an ailing U.S. reconnaissance satellite at an altitude of 240 km.Three SM-3 missiles had a “one-time software modification” to enable them to intercept the satellites, but it is impossible for an adversary to verify whether any additional SM-3 interceptors have been modified for ASAT capability. -
SC-19ChinaUnknown2005Yes>850km (probably ~1250km)Active(?)The SC-19 appears to be based on the DF-21C ballistic missile, but also derives some elements from the HQ-19 missile defense system, including the intercept vehicle and certain rocket stages.The DF-21 has an operational range of 2150-2500 km, which typically would amount to a vertical reach of about half that or approximately 1250 km. Subsequent analyses have concluded that while the SC-19 incorporates many design aspects of the DF-21, it may feature three solid stages and a liquid upper stage. On January 11, 2007, the SC-19 was tested for the third time from Xichang and destroyed an aging Chinese FengYun 1C weather satellite (1999-025A, 25730) at an altitude of 865 km, which created several thousand pieces of orbital debris.Weeden, Brian & Samson Victoria. Global counterspace capabilities: an open source assessment. Washington, DC : Secure World Foundation, 2018
DN-2ChinaUnknown (After 2010)Probably 23 July 2013ProbableGEODevelopmentAble to reach GEO. Bigger and with larger range of action than SN-19. Probably ready for deployment between 2020 and 2025.“USCC 2015 Annual Report,”
pp. 294-294, November 2015,%20Section%202%20-%20China's%20Space%20and%20Counterspace%20Programs.pdf
DN-3ChinaUnknownProbably 23 July 2017UnknownUnknownUnknown————Weeden, Brian & Samson Victoria. Global counterspace capabilities: an open source assessment. Washington, DC : Secure World Foundation, 2018
PDV-MK IIIndia201212 February 2019Yes<1000kmActivePDV Mk.2 is a 13 m tall, 18.87 tons, three stage missile. Solid rocket motors with flexible nozzles constituted the first two stages, with the Kill Vehicle being the third stage. According to a report published on the official DRDO website, the missile has the capability to shoot down targets moving at 10 km per second in orbits as high as 1,200 km. - Weeden, Brian & Samson Victoria. Global counterspace capabilities: an open source assessment. Washington, DC : Secure World Foundation, 2018 -