(NEW DELHI) — India successfully test-fired an anti-satellite weapon Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an unexpected announcement of military advancement that was broadcast live just weeks before a general election.

He said the destruction of a satellite in low-earth orbit by missile demonstrated India’s capacity as a “space power” alongside the U.S., Russia and China.

The announcement is Modi’s latest bid to flex India’s military muscle as his party seeks to retain power in polls beginning April 11.

After 40 Indian soldiers were killed in a February suicide bombing in disputed Kashmir, India said it retaliated with a “surgical strike” on a terrorist camp in Pakistan. But Pakistan later shot down one of India’s Soviet-era fighter jets, prompting scrutiny of India’s aging military hardware.

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