Unified Launch Vehicle
FunctionMedium- to Heavy-lift launch vehicle
ManufacturerIndian Space Research Organisation[1]
Country of originIndia
Mass270,000 to 700,000 kg (600,000 to 1,540,000 lb)
Payload to LEO[2]
Mass6 × 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)[citation needed]
SHLV (Variant) : 41,300 kg (91,100 lb)
Payload to GTO[3]
Mass6 × 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[4][5][6]
No. boosters6
Height12 m (39 ft)[7]
Diameter1 m (3 ft 3 in)[7]
Propellant mass13,000 kg (29,000 lb)[7]
Powered byS-13
Maximum thrust716 kN (161,000 lbf)[7]
Burn time80 seconds[7]
Boosters – S-60[4][5]
No. boosters2
Propellant mass60,000 kg (130,000 lb)
Powered byS-60
Boosters – S-139[4][5]
No. boosters2
Height20.1 m (66 ft)[8]
Diameter2.8 m (9 ft 2 in)[8]
Propellant mass138,200 kg (304,700 lb)[8]
Powered byS-139
Maximum thrust4,700 kN (1,100,000 lbf)[9]
Burn time100 seconds[8]
Boosters – S-200
No. boosters2
Height25 m (82 ft)[10]
Diameter3.2 m (10 ft)[10]
Propellant mass207,000 kg (456,000 lb)[10]
Powered byS-200
Maximum thrust4,658 kN (1,047,000 lbf) each
Total thrust9,316 kN (2,094,000 lbf)[10]
Specific impulse274.5 (vacuum)[10]
Burn time130 sec[10]
Core stage – SC-160
Propellant mass160,000 kg (350,000 lb)
Powered bySCE-200[5]
Maximum 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
PropellantKerosene / LOX
Upper stage – C-30
Propellant mass30,000 kg (66,000 lb)
Powered byCE-20[5]
Maximum thrust200 kN (45,000 lbf)
Specific impulse434 s (4.26 km/s)
Burn time650 sec
PropellantLH2 / LOX

The Unified Launch Vehicle (ULV) is a family of modular expendable launch vehicles, currently under development by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). This vehicle is designed to replace the PSLV, GSLV Mk I/II and LVM 3 with a single family of launchers.[1]

The design may include a heavy-lift variant dubbed HLV, consisting of the SC-160 stage and two solid rocket boosters, as well as a super heavy-lift variant called SHLV with a cluster stage of five SCE-200 engines.[1][11] As SCE-200 will only fly after the successful completion of the Gaganyaan program, the launcher will not fly before 2023.[12]


As of May 2013, based on ISRO data, the design comprised a common core and upper stage, with four different booster sizes.[13] 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.[4] 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][11]

The four booster options are:

In September 2021, in a virtual event being conducted by ISRO, the presentation mentioned a fleet about configuration of a family of five rockets capable of lifting from 4.9 tonnes to 16 tonnes to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). The presentation mentioned about ongoing development of a new semi-cryogenic stage namely SC120 and upgraded cryogenic stage namely C32. The configurations displayed about more powerful engines stages; SC-400 semi-cryogenic stage, C27 cryogenic stage and S2250 solid rocket boosters.[14]


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 spacecraft into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit would include:[1][15][11]

Comparable rockets

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Brügge, Norbert. "ULV (LMV3-SC)". B14643.de. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  2. ^ "ULV". www.b14643.de.
  3. ^ "ULV". www.b14643.de.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "ISRO Unified Launch Vehicle (ULV)". NASAspaceflight. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e Brügge, Norbert. "Propulsion ULV". B14643.de. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  6. ^ "PSLV". ISRO. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e PSLV-C28 DMC3 Mission Brochure (PDF). ISRO. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d GSLV-D5 GSAT-14 Mission Brochure (PDF). ISRO. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  9. ^ "GSLV". ISRO. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "LVM3". ISRO. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  11. ^ a b c Brügge, Norbert. "LVM3, ULV & HLV". B14643.de. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Episode 90 – An update on ISRO's activities with S Somanath and R Umamaheshwaran". AstrotalkUK. 24 October 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  13. ^ "ISRO Unified Launch Vehicle Update". Antariksh Space. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  14. ^ Siddarth MP (14 September 2021). "ISRO's new series of heavy-lift rockets to carry between 5-16 tonnes to GTO". WION. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  15. ^ ""Indigenous Development of Materials for Space Programme" By Dr A. S. Kiran Kumar Presentation Slides. Indian Institute Of Science iisc.ernet.in Date: 21 August 2015".