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ISRO signs deal for first privately built satellite

The Indian Space Research Organisation has roped in a consortium of six companies to deliver the country’s first industry-built spacecraft by late 2017.

The contract signed on Friday includes assembly, integration and testing (AIT) of two spare navigation satellites consecutively in around 18 months. It was signed between M. Annadurai, Director of ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), and the consortium lead, Alpha Design Technologies P Ltd. ISAC assembles the country’s satellites for communication, remote sensing and navigation.

From the third year, Indian industry could expect competitive bids for a new lot of spacecraft of 300-500-kg class, perhaps five a year, for both ISRO and for export, Col. H.S. Shankar (retd), CMD of Alpha Design, told The Hindu. This is the first time that ISRO has outsourced an entire satellite to industry, said Col. Shankar .

Alpha is a defence manufacturing contractor while the others are small and medium-sized vendors that already supply components to ISRO. The others in the consortium are Newtech Solutions, Aidin Technologies and DCX Cables of Bengaluru, Vinyas Technologies of Mysuru and Avantel Systems of Hyderabad.

The work will start around January and the first spacecraft will be brought out in around nine months.

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