Vikas (rocket engine)

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Vikas engine of ISRO.JPG
Model of the Vikas engine
Country of origin India
Designer ISRO
Manufacturer Godrej & Boyce and MTAR Technologies[1]
Predecessor Viking
Status Active
Liquid-fuel engine
Propellant N2O4 / UDMH
Cycle Gas generator
Thrust 800 kN[2]
Chamber pressure 5.86 MPa,(58.5 bar) [3]
Isp (vac.) 290 seconds (2.8 km/s)[3]
Length 3.70 m (12.1 ft)(Vikas-4B)
Used in
2nd stage of PSLV and GSLV
Main stage L110 of GSLV Mk.III

The Vikas (an acronym for VIKram Ambalal Sarabhai[4]) is a family of liquid fuelled rocket engines conceptualized and designed by the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre in the 1970s.[5][6] The design was based on the licensed version of the Viking engine with the chemical pressurisation system.[7] The early production Vikas engines used some imported French components which were later replaced by domestically produced equivalents.[8] It is used in the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) series of expendable launch vehicles for space launch use.

Vikas engine is used to power the second stage PSLV, boosters and second stage of GSLV Mark I and II and the first stage of GSLV Mark III. The propellant loading for Vikas engine in PSLV, GSLV Mark I and II is 40 tons, while in GSLV Mark III it is 55 tons.

Technical details[edit]

The engine uses up about 40 metric tons of UDMH as fuel and Nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) as oxidizer with a maximum thrust of 725 kN. An upgraded version of the engine has a chamber pressure of 58.5 bar as compared to 52.5 bar in the older version and produces a thrust of 800 kN. The engine is capable of gimballing.

The rocket benefited from technological cooperation from the Viking 4A engine built by CNES/SEP of France.[9][10] The primary difference being that the Vikas is rated for a longer burn time.


Type Nozzle






Area Ratio




Fuel Mix Rate Flow rate


Thrust(kN) Specific Impulse (Ns/kg) Launcher Stages
Sea Level Vacuum Sea Level Vacuum
Booster/first stage
Vikas-2 ~1.00 ~2.75 13.9 5.30 UDMH/N2O4 1.86 0.2469 600.5 680.5 2432 2756 GSLV Mk.I L40H Strapon
Vikas-2B ~1.00 ~2.75 13.9 5.30 UH25/N2O4 1.87 0.2710 677.7 765.5 2501 2824 GSLV Mk.II L40H Strapon
Vikas-X ~1.80 ~3.75 UH25/N2O4 0.2805 756.5 839.0 2697 2991 LVM3 L110 stage
Second stage
Vikas-4 ~1.50 ~3.50 5.35 UDMH/N2O4 1.86 0.2498 - 725.0 2903 GSLV Mk.I GS2 stage, PSLV PS2 stage
Vikas-4B ~1.80 ~3.70 5.85 UH25/N2O4 1.71 0.2716 - 804.5 2962 GSLV Mk.II GS2 stage, PSLV PS2 stage

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Manna from Mars ISRO's first mission to the red planet provides a fillip to its local component suppliers". Business Today. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  2. ^ India's VIKAS engines and its relationship to the European Viking engines Norbert Brügge, Germany 24 December 2014
  3. ^ a b PSLV Launch Vehicle Information Space Flight 101 24 December 2014
  4. ^ M Ramesh (18 December 2014). "Godrej Aerospace to make semi-cryogenic engines". The Hindu Business Line. 
  5. ^ "ISRO tests Vikas engine". The Hindu. 3 December 2001. Archived from the original on 23 March 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  6. ^ K.S. Jayaraman (2 August 2009). "Unsung hero of moon mission is sad but forgiving". IANS. Archived from the original on 10 January 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  7. ^ Sutton, George Paul (2006). History of Liquid Propellant Rocket Engines. AIAA. p. 799. ISBN 9781563476495. 
  8. ^ Sutton, George Paul (2006). History of Liquid Propellant Rocket Engines. AIAA. p. 882. ISBN 9781563476495. 
  9. ^ "PSLV launches with IRNSS-1D to open India's 2015 campaign". NASA SpaceFlight. NASA. 28 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "India Successfully Launches Their Largest Rocket To Date". The Asian Scientist. 24 December 2014. 
  11. ^ Brügge, Norbert. "India's VIKAS engines and its relationship to the European Viking engines". B14643 Internet Presentation to Space Launch Vehicles. Norbert Brügge. Retrieved 11 December 2015.