President Droupadi Murmu Tuesday inaugurated Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Integrated Cryogenic Engine Manufacturing Facility (ICMF) in Bengaluru, and termed it a historic moment for the nation.
“India is the sixth country in the world to have Cryogenic Engine Manufacturing capabilities. The glorious past of HAL and ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) gives us an assurance that they will play a crucial role in the future,” she said.
She also visited other facilities at the HAL. Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, among others, accompanied the President.
Referring to Bengaluru as a space city, Bommai said the state contributed most to 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 vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
Somanath S, secretary, Department of Space and Chairman of ISRO, who was present on the occasion, said: “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.”
The ICMF is dedicated to Rocket Manufacturing and its assembly for ISRO. The facility will boost self-reliance in the manufacturing of high-thrust rocket engines.
The facility is set up over an area of 4,500 sq mt housing 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). 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,” HAL issued a statement.
“Cryogenic Engines are the most widely used engines world over in the space launch vehicles. Due to the complex nature of the cryogenic engine, till date only few countries USA, France, Japan, China and 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,” the HAL further said.