ISRO to follow auto industry practice of sourcing systems

Says R V Perumal, associate projects director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), part of ISRO: "Today the vendors supply us components and we assemble the same. But what we are looking at is sourcing the fully-assembled systems."

But tierisation of vendors in the Indian rocket industry is a tricky aspect and will take some more time to achieve. For, unlike car rockets are not mass produced, each satellite launch vehicle is custom made and integrating electrical and electronic systems and components is not just a plug-and-play aspect.

ISRO has just started thinking on this line and is yet to decide which system it would like to source as a fully-assembled component. Joining hands with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), ISRO last year conducted a seminar on utilising the industry's capabilities in India's space programme.

According to Perumal, ISRO would need at least nine months' lead time to make a satellite launch vehicle. "Launch vehicles are designed based on its payload. So we should also get the payload specifications in advance."

K R Sridharamurthi, executive director, Antrix Corporation, ISRO's commercial arm, however, says the company is receiving enquiries for the supply of remote-sensing satellites. Perhaps a chance for mass production, applying the usual industry practices.