The President of India, Droupadi Murmu inaugurated HAL’s Integrated Cryogenic Engine Manufacturing Facility (ICMF) in Bengaluru and said it is not only a historic moment for HAL and ISRO but for the whole of India. “India is the sixth country in the world to have Cryogenic Engine Manufacturing capabilities. The glorious past of HAL and ISRO gives us an assurance that they will play a crucial role in the future”, she said.
The President also went around the HAL facility. She virtually laid the foundation stone for Zonal Institute of Virology (South Zone) of NIV, Bengaluru. The Governor of Karnataka Thaawarchand Gehlot, Chief Minister of Karnataka, Basavaraj Bommai were present on the occasion.
Referring to Bengaluru as Space City, Bommai said the state contributed most of the space and defence related manufacturing activities in the country and Karnataka will continue to support the development of science and technology projects in the state to realise the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ vision.
Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare also spoke on the occasion. Dr. Sudhakar K, the Minister for Health, Family Welfare and Medical Education (Govt of Karnataka) was present.
Chairman of ISRO and Secretary, Dept of Space, S Somanath said India can emerge as a superpower in rocket technology only with the help of HAL which has shown ability to absorb complicated space technology with perfection. ISRO therefore is confident that the entire rocket manufacturing will happen at HAL’s facility, he added.
B. Ananthakrishnan, CMD, HAL welcomed the gathering.
HAL’s ICMF will cater to the entire Rocket Manufacturing and assembly under one roof for ISRO. The facility will boost self-reliance in manufacturing of High-thrust Rocket engines.
The facility is set up over an area of 4500 sqmts housing over 70 hi-tech equipment and testing facilities for manufacturing Cryogenic (CE20) and Semi-cryogenic Engines (SE2000) of Indian Space Launch Vehicles.
In 2013, an MOU was signed with ISRO for establishing the facility for manufacturing of Cryogenic Engine modules at HAL, Aerospace Division. The MOU for the Cryogenic Engine facility was subsequently amended in the year 2016 with an investment of Rs. 208 crores towards setting up of Integrated Cryogenic Engine Manufacturing Facility (ICMF).
The commissioning of all the critical equipment for the manufacturing and assembly requirement is completed. The pre-production activities which involves preparation of the process plans, drawings, quality plan etc. has also commenced. HAL will start realising the modules by March 2023.
HAL Aerospace Division manufactures liquid propellant tanks and launch vehicle structures of PSLV, GSLV MK-II, GSLV Mk-III and also stage integration for GSLV Mk-II. The Aerospace Division entering into manufacture of Cryogenic Engines is a major step in technology up-gradation cum modernization.
Cryogenic Engines are the most widely used engines world over in the launch vehicles. Due to the complex nature of the cryogenic engine, till date only few countries USA, France, Japan, China & Russia have mastered the cryogenic technology. On January 5, 2014 India successfully flew GSLV-D5 with a cryogenic engine (made by ISRO through private industries) and became the sixth country in developing cryogenic engines. Space exploration in the future is mostly dependent upon cryogenic technology.