Coimbatore: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) aims to launch 12 to 18 satellites annually and expects industries to actively involve in the missions, director of ISRO Propulsion Complex in Mahendragiri S Pandian said here on Wednesday.

The agency has been launching eight to nine satellites annually, Pandian, who was speaking at the inaugural session of ‘Subcon 2018’ fair at Codissia Trade Fair Complex, said. “But we need to launch more to cater to the increasing demands from sectors such as defence, remote sensing and communication. We are looking for industries to come up with precision parts for satellites and also take up assembling operations,” he said, adding that ISRO expects industries to take up rocket launching operations in two years.

While micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from the region have already been catering to ISRO, Pandian said there was still scope for MSMEs from Coimbatore and surrounding areas. “There are about 500 to 600 components and sub-systems in rockets. Many of them can be taken up by industries in and around Coimbatore. ISRO uses several kinds of components from rubber products to conventional materials depending on temperature and pressure. We are also planning to use components made of composite materials as they are lighter and we can increase payload. Industries in and around Coimbatore can take up manufacturing composite materials,” he suggested.

There are also work packages, which ISRO is looking to outsource to industries. “There are 500 to 600 work packages in ISRO, which calls for expertise in electronics, mechanical systems and reliability associated factors. We are looking to outsource manpower to industries,” Pandian added.

About 225 industries have put up stalls at the seventh edition of Subcon, an expo for sub-contractors who supply components for industries.