Aerospace firm Ananth Technologies has signed deals to build six foreign-owned satellites in India, a first for a private firm, leveraging the country’s low cost base to attract global customers.
The Hyderabad-based Ananth, a supplier of systems for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) satellites, is opening a full-fledged satellite manufacturing facility by the end of February 2020 in Bengaluru, where it will build satellites weighing between 50kg and 250kg for customers in Sweden and France, chairman and managing director Subba Rao Pavuluri told ETTech.com.
“We can fully integrate satellites at around 30% lower costs (than in the West),” said Pavuluri. “We will also help them launch from Indian soil,” Pavuluri said in the ETTech report.
Due to confidentiality agreements, the companies were not named at this time.
Ananth Technologies has been a supplier of satellite systems and sub-systems for India’s space agency and has integrated the solar panels for these satellites. Its new facility is designed to fully integrate satellites for both local and overseas customers. India’s decades-long expertise in building satellites has helped create a critical talent base, giving it an edge in tapping outsourcing avenues.
The country has an opportunity to integrate medium-sized satellites, Pavuluri continued, because they are designed to last for over five years and companies invest huge sums in building them.
“We are offering end-to-end service. Integrating the satellite, identifying the rocket and launching them from Indian soil,” he said to ETTech.com.
India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) has emerged as the preferred rocket to launch small and medium satellites into space. It has launched satellites for global customers from the US, UK, Japan, and Germany, among others. ISRO is developing a small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV) designed to hurl 400 kg satellites into low-earth orbit.
Antrix Corp, the commercial arm of ISRO, previously signed a contract with EADS Astrium to build a communication satellite for British media firm Avanti Screenmedia Group Plc.
ISRO has also formed New Space India Ltd. to work with the domestic space industry to build and launch satellites on Indian soil. Other upcoming full-fledged satellite production initiatives include the proposed production facility to be built jointly by Berlin Space Technologies and Ahmedabad-based Azista Aerospace.
“These companies can be an outsourcing hub for manufacturing satellites for certain global companies and take advantage of the low-costs in (India),” Narayan Prasad, an industry analyst and co-founder of satsearch.com, told ETTech.com. “What is going to be more exciting is that if service providers in the field of communication or imaging emerge as a result of such satellite producing facilities.”
Ananth Technologies was founded in 1992 and is a global broad-based software and hardware, services, and solutions provider. On the IT services front, it supports enterprises business processes and systems, with services, solutions and products. On the hardware front, the firm specialises in the design and development of aerospace subsystems and other embedded systems.