The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) satellite centre has come into a contract with a consortium of three companies. Two of the companies being private and one being a government-run firm.
The companies that form this consortium are Alpha Design Technologies Pvt Ltd, Bharat Electronics Limited and the Tatas.
For the first time since its inception, ISRO has allowed three companies to build as many as 27 satellites. This step might help ISRO to concentrate on the research and development part of the process, while the companies work on satellite and rocket manufacturing.
All the three firms will work on satellites under the guidance of ISRO, and procure sub-systems from the ISRO supply chain. The companies might also work independently.
They are expected to make at least seven to nine satellites by the end of three years. So the companies might assemble at least 27 satellites by the end of three years.
These satellites are to be built by 2021 to show industry readiness, and to pave way for a new phase in the Indian space programme. The agreement can also be extended for two more years.
The satellites are supposed to be meant for imaging, communication and weather forecasting. These satellites might be assembled at the ISRO Spacecraft Integration Test Establishment (ISITE) in Bengaluru, and the companies may work in separate spaces under UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) or at ISRO.
According to the report in Business Standard, the chairperson and managing director of Alpha Design Technologies claimed that his is the only company, that has already assembled and tested the high-end 1.65 tonnes IRNSS-1I with success, with ISRO in the past. The satellite was launched on 12 April 2018 in the outer space.
The report in Times of India also talks about a second satellite, IRNSS-1H that was assembled by a consortium led by Alpha Design Technologies, which was headquartered in Bengaluru.
The Alpha Design led consortium consisted of six small and medium-sized enterprises, including Newtech, Aidin, Aniera, DCX, Vinyas, and Exseed Speed.
According to the report in Business Insider, these satellites are going to be built between 1.5 to 3 tonnes, but as per Times of India, the satellites might weigh between 1.6 to 2-3 tonnes.
There is no news yet on the total value of the project.