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HAL's rocket engine manufacturing facility inaugurated in Karnataka


President Droupadi Murmu being presented a memento by HAL Chairman & MD (Bangalore Complex) C B Ananthkrishnan during the inauguration of Integrated Cryogenic Engine Manufacturing Facility (ICMF), in Bengaluru, on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. (Photo: PTI)

BENGALURU (PTI): An Integrated Cryogenic Engine Manufacturing Facility (ICMF) set up by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) that would cater to the entire rocket engine production under one roof for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was inaugurated by President Droupadi Murmu in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

The state-of-the-art ICMF, set up over an area of 4,500 square metres, houses over 70 hi-tech equipment and testing facilities for manufacturing cryogenic (CE20) and semi-cryogenic (SE2000) engines of Indian rockets.

In 2013, an MoU was signed with ISRO for establishing the facility for manufacturing cryogenic engine modules at HAL, Aerospace Division, and it was subsequently amended in 2016 for setting up of ICMF with an investment of Rs 208 crore.

Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, ISRO Chairman S Somanath, HAL Chairman and Managing Director C B Ananthakrishnan, among others were present at the event.

The commissioning of all the critical equipment for the manufacturing and assembly requirement has been completed, Bengaluru-headquartered HAL has said, adding that the pre-production activities which involve preparation of the process and quality plans, and drawings, have also commenced.

HAL will start realising the modules by March 2023, it said.

HAL Aerospace Division manufactures liquid propellant tanks and launch vehicle structures of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV MK-II), GSLV Mk-III and also stage integration for GSLV MK-II.

"The facility (ICMF) will cater to the entire Rocket Engine Manufacturing under one roof for ISRO. It will boost self-reliance in manufacturing of Hi-thrust Rocket engines," the HAL said.

Cryogenic engines are the most widely used engines world over in launch vehicles, the statement said. Due to the complex nature of the cryogenic engine, till date only a few countries – the USA, France, Japan, China and Russia – have mastered the cryogenic technology.

On January 5, 2014 India successfully flew GSLV-D5 with a cryogenic engine and became the sixth country in developing cryogenic engines (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.

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