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(This story originally appeared in on Aug 27, 2021)

Bengaluru: Three entities, including those led by group and L&T, are in the race for a PSLV contract to build five launch vehicles. This is for the first time that companies outside Isro are fully building a launch vehicle, which has been the workhorse for the space agency with 50 launch missions over the past 25 years.

Sources said the entities submitted bids on July 30 in response to a request for proposal (RFP) issued by New Space India (

), a space PSU under the department of space.

As reported first by TOI in August 2019, NSIL had announced an expression of interest for five PSLVs to which five entities had responded. The RFP was issued in December 2020. “Of the five players, three have submitted bids,” a senior official said.

The players are: An HAL-L&T consortium; another comprising Adani-Alpha Design, BEL and BEML; and the third is BHEL, which has bid as a single firm.

As per DoS, the contract will boost the government’s Make-in-India initiative and enhance Isro’s ability to launch more satellites each year.

NSIL chairman and MD D Radhakrishnan said: “The techno-commercial evaluation is underway, after which the bids will be opened. We hope to complete the process in a couple of months.”

A source said the contract is expected to be awarded by year-end and the selected entity will be a licensed producer.

While Isro has worked closely with the industry with any PSLV launch seeing over 150 big and small industries contributing to the vehicle. This is for the first time it will be completely built by the industry.

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