The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited-L&T consortium has won an Rs 860 crore deal from NewSpace India Limited to build five rockets, marking the industry's foray into end-to-end production of polar satellite launch vehicles (PSLVs).
After the techno commercial evaluation of three bids, the HAL-L&T consortium emerged as the technically qualified and the L1 bidder to undertake end-to-end production of PSLV. As per the contract, the consortium would manufacture five PSLV rockets -- the versatile workhorse launch vehicle of India, according to news agency PTI.
"We have now signed a service level agreement with the industry for
production," an official of NSIL, a central public sector enterprise under the Department of Space (DoS) and the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told PTI.
"May be in less than two years, we (the 52:48 HAL-L&T consortium) will be able to deliver the first rocket from the industry consortium, fully built by the industry, with appropriate hand-holding from ISRO, " the official added.
According to the NSIL official, at present, about 80 percent of mechanical systems and 60 percent of electronic systems of the PSLV -- the third generation launch vehicle of India -- come from the industry. However, the remaining percentages in both areas are highly complex.
The consortium will now be responsible for producing, assembling, and integrating the launcher by making use of the existing ISRO facilities under the GOCO (Government Owned, Contractor Operated) model.
The NSIL reportedly also has plans to realise an entirely-built GSLV-Mk III rocket from Indian industry partners. In June this year, the Union Cabinet had approved the transfer of 10 in-orbit communication satellites from the Government of India to NSIL. The government had also approved increasing the authorised share capital of NSIL from Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 7,500 crore.
Notably, the space sector reforms mandated NSIL to undertake end-to-end commercial space activities and function as a full-fledged satellite operator, according to DoS officials.
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