The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited-L&T consortium has won a Rs 860 crore deal from NewSpace India Limited to build five rockets, marking industry’s maiden foray into end-to-end production of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLVs). The contract is for manufacturing five PSLV rockets, the versatile workhorse launch vehicle of India, sources told PTI.

After the techno-commercial evaluation of three bids, HAL-L&T consortium had emerged as the technically qualified and the L1 bidder to undertake end-to-end production of PSLV.

“We have now signed the service level agreement with the industry for production,” an official of NSIL, a central public sector enterprise under the Department of Space (DoS) and commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said.

“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 said.

According to the official, about 80 per cent of mechanical systems and 60 per cent of electronic systems of PSLV, the third generation launch vehicle of India, at present come from the industry. However, the remaining percentages in both the 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 GOCO (Government Owned, Contractor Operated) model. Sources said the NSIL also has plans to realise an entirely-built GSLV MK-III rocket from Indian industry partners.

In June this year, the Union Cabinet approved the transfer of 10 in-orbit communication satellites from 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.

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. In 2020-21, NSIL achieved a revenue from operations of Rs 432.67 crore and a profit after tax of 121.84 crore.