ULV (Unified LV)


Indian Space Research Organisation



India will develops a new series of SLV, which will replace both the PSLV and GSLV. The ULV (
Unified Launch Vehicle) marks the renunciation of India for N2O4/UDMH as propellant for space launch vehicle systems.

The ULV is a future expendable launch vehicle concept on base the GSLV MkIII design. It is modular in shape, comprising semi-cryogenics as core stage, a cryogenics as upper stage and strap-ons of different magnitudes made of solid rockets. It can be S-200, S-138 usw., depending on the payload requirement.

The various configurations of the ULV have an identical first and upper stage. The first stage (L-160) uses Kerosene/LOX. The used conceptual engine
RD-810* from Yuzhnoye (Ukraine) with 200 t of thrust, is in development and should be ready in some years. The RD-810 engine is an licensed RD-120MN engine of Energomash. The CE-20 engine from the GSLV MkIII is used for the larger L-30 cryogenic  upper stage. Planned is a more powerful engine CE-60 with 600 kN thrust.

The smallest version of the ULV uses six S-13 booster and has a launch mass of 274 t. The payload is 1.5 t for GTO and 4.5 t for LEO.
The second version uses two S-60 booster and has a launch mass of 340 t. The payload is 3 t for the GTO or 10 t for LEO.
The third version uses two S-138 booster and has a launch mass of 560 t. The payload is 4.5 t for GTO and 12 t for LEO.
The most powerful variant is to use the S-200 booster of GSLV-Mk.3 and has a launch mass of 700 t. The payload is 6 t for GTO and 15 t for LEO.

* SCE-200 in India's project

A Heavy lift Launch Vehicle capable of placing up to 10 ton class of spacecrafts into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit is currently under study by a project team. This new generation launch vehicle will derive its propulsion modules from LVM3 as well as from new developments, which include :

  • Larger S-250 solid strap on boosters as compared to S-200 strap on motors used in LVM3

  • Larger L-200 semi cryogenic booster stage, SCE-200 engine

  • Larger cryogenic upper stage (L-100) with CE-60 engine.

This HLV concept (one SCE-200 engine and a cryogenic CE-60 engine) is obviously no longer favored. In a new concept, five SCE-200 engines are planned (see Versions, Propulsion).

A future SHLV concept with liquid-fuel boosters and 5 engines SCE-200 is presented (see Versions, Propulsion).
The payload capability is 16.3 t for GTO and 41.3 t for LEO. A version without booster should have a capability of 4.9 t for GTO and 11.4 t for LEO.

Canceled HLV