Indian media are reporting that a partnership of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and L&T consortium submitted the winning bid to manufacture five Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) privatizes key elements of the nation’s space program.
“The company is the lead partner with L&T sharing the work. Other vendors too will be involved with the consortium in the manufacturing of the launch vehicles (LVs). However, the contract is yet to be formalised/ awarded,” HAL said in a statement.
This will be the first time that the industry will build a LV and will pave the way for commercialisation of other LVs, including the small satellite launch vehicle.
“ISRO’s commercial arm, NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) had floated a request for proposal for the said work in December, 2020,” HAL added.
The first rocket is expected to be realised sometime during the second half of 2024 and the balance four rockets will be delivered during 2025 and 2026 at two rockets per year.
India has taken a number of legal steps to privatize the nation’s government-run space program. Legal and regulatory changes have been undertaken, and private Indian space companies have signed agreements giving them access to ISRO facilities for testing purposes.