ECIL, ISRO tie up to reduce import of critical systems

Taking a cue from the Centre’s ‘Make In India’ initiative, defence electronics supplier Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL) and space major ISRO have decided to intensify collaboration for the production of critical systems that find application in the launch of latter’s satellites. Stating this, MYS Prasad, director of ISRO’s SHAR Sriharikota, today said both the organisations had “set a goal for reducing the dependency on imports in the area of critical systems”, in particular the ground systems deployed for launching satellites, initially. He was present here to receive the ECIL-manufactured and indigenously-developed programmable logic controller-based supervisory control and data acquisition system (Scada), to be deployed at the ISRO Sriharikota High Altitude Range (SHAR). A programmable logic controller is a digital computer-based high-end system used for automation of industrial electromechanical processes such as control of machinery on factory assembly lines, and finds applications in core sectors of the economy. ISRO had so far relied upon overseas suppliers for acquiring the system, which helps monitor the filling of liquid fuel in the satellite’s launch vehicle. According to ECIL chairman and managing director P Sudhakar, the system had passed all key performance tests and would be deployed during the next PSLV rocket launch in Sept-Oct this year. He said in the next three-four years, both the partners would spearhead several identified projects for the development of critical strategic systems, and added ISRO had planned to replace foreign-made systems at its launch centres in the future. Supplied by ECIL for Rs 3 crore each, the Scada device was being acquired by ISRO for Rs 10-15 crore from overseas suppliers. ISRO plans to acquire systems worth Rs 15-20 crore from ECIL in the next two years. Of the SHAR’s Rs 700-crore annual budget, Rs 100 crore is being spent for acquiring foreign-made systems. On the potential market for Scada devices, ECIL said these were of high demand in oil and gas industry, steel, manufacturing and aviation sectors, and the corporation was keen on supplying them for domestic industrial use.

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