THE INDIAN Government has allocated an extra $12 million to finance the purchase of seven flight and two mock-up cryogenic engines and technical equipment from Russia for the upper stage of the planned Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

Russia demanded the originally agreed $21 million payment in dollars rather than rupees, to compensate for disadvantageous exchange rates, which had to be made up with the increased funds.

The first Russian KUD-7 engine is being delivered in December.

The GSLV, which will have its first flight, with a Russian engine, in 1998, will be based on technology from the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which had its final development flight on 21 March.

It will use the PSLV core first stage and replace its six solid-propellant strap-on boosters with four liquid boosters,. The upper stages will be replaced with a stage powered by the Russian cryogenic engine. An Indian cryogenic engine under development may first be used in 2000.

Source: Flight International