By Anthony Wright

A new state-of-the-art cryogenic engine manufacturing facility is set to be inaugurated by the President of India, Droupadi Murmu in Bengaluru today (27th September).

Commissioned by Indian aerospace company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the 4500m2 Integrated Cryogenic Engine Manufacturing Facility (ICMF) will be used to manufacture and test cryogenic (CE20) and semi-cryogenic (SE2000) engines for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). 

The most widely used engines for launch vehicles designed to send rockets into space, cryogenic engines are highly complex and only a handful of countries are involved in their manufacture. 

In 2014, India successfully flew the GSLV-D5 launch vehicle with a cryogenic engine built by ISRO, which led to it becoming just the sixth country to develop cryogenic engines. 

ISRO and HAL signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2013 to enable HAL’s Aerospace Division to manufacture cryogenic engine modules. 

An amendment for setting up of the ICMF was made three years later in 2016 following an investment of around Rs. 208 crores ($25m). 

According to HAL, the commissioning of all the critical equipment for the manufacturing and assembling of the engines is completed and modules are set to be fully realised by March 2023. 

Calling its transition into the world of cryogenic engine manufacture a ‘major step’, the company’s Aerospace Division typically manufactures liquid propellant tanks and launch vehicle structures for a range of rockets.