Antrix eyes Rs 750 cr revenue in current fiscal

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Chennai, Jan 21 (UNI) Buoyed by the successful launch of Israeli Satellite TECSAR, which is its second full - fledged commercial launch, Antrix Corporation,the commercial arm of the Department of Space, is eyeing revenue of Rs 750 crore for the current fiscal ending March 31.

Talking to reporters here this evening after the PSLV successfully placed the satellite in the intended low earth orbit after launch from Sriharikota, Antrix Corporation Managing Director K R Sridharamurthy and ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair said the revenues stood at Rs 660 crore during 2006-07 of which the profit after tax was Rs 105 crore.

''During the current year we are looking at Rs 750 crore,'' they added.

Mr Nair said it was a red letter day in the history of Antrix, whose revenue climbed up from Rs 450 crore to over Rs 600 crore last year and Antrix had established itself well in the commercial satellite launch market.

Mr Nair said Antrix charged more than the rate charged by international players, which will be to the tune of 15,000 to 20,000 USD per kg of satellite.

When asked about the exact rates charged by Antrix, he said, ''It is a commercial secret'' and declined to elaborate.

''The higher cost was due to meeting the specific requirements of the customer and placing the satellite in the precise orbit as sought by the customer,'' he added.

''Today's successful launch confirmed India's strong presence in the international launch market and globally, people have started recognising our launch capabilities against other players.

''We won the contract against stiff global competition from several global players like Russia, as the sleek PSLV, minus its strap-on motors, suited their requirements'', he added.

''The orbit we have given is the envy of other players in space launch systems. The 41 deg inclination given as per specifications was a challenging and difficult task.

''With accurate mission manouevre, thanks to the advanced navigational system, we moved the direction of the satellite to achieve the right inclination and put it in the intended orbit,'' he said.

Asked why the media was kept in the dark and not taken for the launch, Dr Nair said ''our hands were tied. The customer asked us not to publicise it until the launch is over. We had to protect the contractual obligations and respect the feelings of the customer.'' UNI GV-VV GM PK RK2149

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