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The Unified Launch Vehicle (ULV) is a development project by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) whose core objective is to design a modular architecture that could eventually replace the PSLV, GSLV Mk I/II and GSLV Mk III with a single family of launchers.[1] The design may include a heavy-lift variant dubbed HLV, as well as super heavy-lift variant called SHLV with a cluster stage of five SCE-200 engines each replacing the main core stage SC-160 and as well as the two solid boosters.[1][9]

Unified Launch Vehicle
FunctionMedium- to Heavy-lift launch vehicle
ManufacturerIndian Space Research Organisation[1]
Country of origin India
Mass270,000 to 700,000 kg (600,000 to 1,540,000 lb)
Payload to LEO6 × S-13: 4,500 kg (9,900 lb)
2 × S-60: 10,000 kg (22,000 lb)
2 × S-139: 12,000 kg (26,000 lb)
2 × S-200: 15,000 kg (33,000 lb)
HLV(Variant):20,000 kg (44,000 lb)
SHLV(Variant):41,300 kg (91,100 lb)
Payload to GTO6 × S-13: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb)
2 × S-60: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb)
2 × S-139: 4,500 kg (9,900 lb)
2 × S-200: 6,000 kg (13,000 lb)
HLV(Variant):10,000 kg (22,000 lb)
SHLV(Variant):16,300 kg (35,900 lb)
Boosters – S-13[2][3][4]
No. boosters6
Length12 m (39 ft)[5]
Diameter1 m (3 ft 3 in)[5]
Propellant mass13,000 kg (29,000 lb)[5]
Thrust716 kN (161,000 lbf)[5]
Burn time80 seconds[5]
Boosters – S-60[2][3]
No. boosters2
Propellant mass60,000 kg (130,000 lb)
Boosters – S-139[2][3]
No. boosters2
Length20.1 m (66 ft)[6]
Diameter2.8 m (9 ft 2 in)[6]
Propellant mass138,200 kg (304,700 lb)[6]
Thrust4,700 kN (1,100,000 lbf)[7]
Burn time100 seconds[6]
Boosters – S-200
No. boosters2
Length25 m (82 ft)[8]
Diameter3.2 m (10 ft)[8]
Propellant mass207,000 kg (456,000 lb)[8]
Thrust4,658 kN (1,047,000 lbf) each
Total thrust9,316 kN (2,094,000 lbf)[8]
Specific impulse274.5 (vacuum)[8]
Burn time130 sec[8]
Core stage – SC-160
Propellant mass160,000 kg (350,000 lb)
ThrustSL: 1,820 kN (410,000 lbf)
Vac: 2,030 kN (460,000 lbf)
Specific impulseSL: 299 s (2.93 km/s)
Vac: 335 s (3.29 km/s)
Burn time259 sec
FuelKerosene / LOX
Upper stage – C-30
Propellant mass30,000 kg (66,000 lb)
Thrust200 kN (45,000 lbf)
Specific impulse443 s (4.34 km/s)
Burn time650 sec
FuelLH2 / LOX


As of May 2013, based on ISRO data, the design comprised a common core and upper stage, with four different booster sizes.[10] All four versions of the boosters are solid motors, with at least three versions reusing current motors from the PSLV, GSLV Mk I/II and LVM3.[2] The core, known as the SC160 (Semi-Cryogenic stage with 160 tonnes of propellant, in the ISRO nomenclature), would have 160,000 kg (350,000 lb) of Kerosene / LOX propellant and be powered by a single SCE-200 rocket engine. The upper stage, known as the C30 (Cryogenic stage with 30 tonnes of propellant) would have 30,000 kg (66,000 lb) of LH2 / LOX propellant and be powered by a single CE-20 engine.[1][9]

The four booster options are:

  • 6 × S-13, slightly larger than the S-12 on PSLV, to burn longer;
  • 2 × S-60, which appears to be a new solid motor development;
  • 2 × S-139, which is the first stage of PSLV and GSLV Mk I/II;
  • 2 × S-200, like on the LVM3.

Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle(HLV-Variant):-

A potential heavy-lift variant (HLV) of the unified launcher capable of placing up to 10 ton class of spacecrafts into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit would include:[1][11][9]

  • A larger dual S-250 solid strap-on boosters as compared to the S-200 boosters used in LVM3;
  • A L-400 semi-cryogenic core stage, with 400 tonnes of propellant, using a cluster of five SCE-200 engine's;
  • A L-27 cryogenic third stage, with 27 tonnes of propellant, using CE-20 engine.

Comparable rocketsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Brügge, Norbert. "ULV (LMV3-SC)". Retrieved 2015-08-14.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "ISRO Unified Launch Vehicle (ULV)". NASAspaceflight. 2013-05-03. Retrieved 2015-08-14.
  3. ^ a b c d e Brügge, Norbert. "Propulsion ULV". Retrieved 2015-08-14.
  4. ^ "PSLV". ISRO. Retrieved 2015-08-14.
  5. ^ a b c d e PSLV-C28 DMC3 Mission Brochure (PDF). ISRO. Retrieved 2015-08-14.
  6. ^ a b c d GSLV-D5 GSAT-14 Mission Brochure (PDF). ISRO. Retrieved 2015-08-14.
  7. ^ "GSLV". ISRO. Retrieved 2015-08-14.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "LVM3". ISRO. Retrieved 2015-08-14.
  9. ^ a b c Brügge, Norbert. "LVM3, ULV & HLV". Retrieved 2015-08-14.
  10. ^ "ISRO Unified Launch Vehicle Update". Antariksh Space. 2013-05-03. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  11. ^ ""Indigenous Development of Materials for Space Programme" By Dr A. S. Kiran Kumar Presentation Slides. Indian Institute Of Science Date: 21 August 2015".

External linksEdit