Indian President Droupadi Murmu inaugurated the Integrated Cryogenic Engine Manufacturing Facility (ICMF) of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, India’s state-run aerospace and defence firm, in southern Bengaluru city on Tuesday.
“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,” Droupadi Murmu said.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, ISRO Chairman Dr. S.Somanth and HAL Director C.B.Ananthakrishnan also took part in the event.
Cryogenic engines are sophisticated machines that burn liquefied gases (supercooled into liquid form) as fuel and oxidizer. Cryogenic engines use liquid oxygen (stored at -183 degrees Centigrade) as an oxidizer and liquid hydrogen (stored at -253 degrees Centigrade) as fuel.
ISRO chief Somanath said that India can emerge as a superpower in rocket technology only with the help of HAL, which has shown the ability to absorb complicated space technology with perfection. ISRO, therefore, is confident that the entire rocket manufacturing will happen at HAL’s facility.
Referring to Bengaluru as the ‘Space City’, Chief Minister Bommai said the state contributed to most of the space and defence related manufacturing activities in the country and the Karnataka government will continue to support the development of science and technology projects in the state to realise the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’(self-reliant India) vision.
This 4500sq meter facility will cater to the entire cryogenic rocket engine manufacturing needs of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). This facility has 70 high-tech equipment and testing apparatus for manufacturing CE20 Cryogenic engines and SE2000 cryogenic engines for Indian rockets.
The CE20 engines finds use in the final stage of the GSLV Mk3 rocket, while the SCE-2000 semi-cryogenic engine is meant to be used in the SC-120 rocket stage, which is being developed.
According to HAL, it was in 2013 that a Memorandum of Understanding (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 for setting up of Integrated Cryogenic Engine Manufacturing Facility (ICMF) with an investment of Rs. 208 crores.
The aerospace firm added that the commissioning of all the critical equipment for the manufacturing and assembly requirement is completed. The pre-production activities which involve preparation of the process plans, drawings, quality plan etc. has also commenced. HAL will start realising the modules(engines) by March 2023
HAL Aerospace Division manufactures liquid propellant tanks and launch vehicle structures of Indian rockets PSLV, GSLV MK-II, GSLV Mk-III and also carries out stage integration for GSLV Mk-II.