The union cabinet Friday approved a revised cost estimate of Rs.2,962.78 crore for completing the development programme of the Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV Mk-III and to carry out an experimental flight.
An official release said additional fund requirement was Rs.464.78 crore over the original provision of Rs.2,498 crore was needed to complete the scope of the project, including one experimental flight called LVM3-X and two developmental flights called GSLV Mk-III D1 and GSLV Mk-III D2.
Development of the GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle is expected to augment the capacity of the Indian space programme to launch four-tonne class satellites to Geo-synchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) and reduce the demand-supply gap of transponders in the country.
"The indigenous development of the GSLV Mk-III will facilitate launching of four-tonne class of communication satellites to GTO, benefiting all sections of the society, including remote and far-flung areas of the country," the release said.
Official sources said the GSLV Mk-III project was approved in 2002 with an outlay of Rs.2,498 crore.
They said the GSLV Mk-III programme involves a major leap in technological complexity compared to the ongoing Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and GSLV programmes.
The sources said there was a need to revise the original financial sanction in view of cost escalation in the project elements and modifications in design scope of the project, including two development flights.
The scope of the project was required to be augmented to include an experimental flight to validate the critical atmospheric regime of the flight.
The experimental flight of GSLV Mk-III (LVM3-X) with flight versions of solid stages (S200), liquid stage (L110) and a passive cryogenic stage (C25) is planned in 2013-14, to validate some of the new systems and flight sequences not demonstrated in PSLV/GSLV flights.
The first development flight (GSLV Mk-III D1) with an operational cryogenic stage is planned for 2016-17.
The second development flight (GSLV Mk-lll D2) is planned after one year of GSLV Mk-III D1 flight in 2017-18, the sources said.