Will ‘Surya’ launch bombs or satellites?

From Times of India, March 14, 2024:

ISRO chairman S. Somanath confirmed to TOI in an exclusive interview that the NGLV project, internally named “SOORYA”, will be headed by (Project Director/PD) S. Sivakumar, currrently the programme director (space transportation systems) at VSSC…

ISRO and DRDO really need to systematise their naming scheme here. The next iteration of ‘Agni’ ballistic missiles DRDO is working on has widely been called ‘Surya’. For ISRO to follow by calling its newfangled launch vehicle ‘Soorya’ – even if internally – complicates communications on this topic (not that it’s otherwise great).

‘Soorya’ and ‘Surya’ may have different spellings but they refer to the same Sanskrit word and meaning (‘Sun’). The typical aloofness of Indians vis-a-vis transliterating words between English and Indian languages will inevitably feed confusion over the technology to which a given instance of ‘Surya’ refers.

Another source of confusion is the existing overlap between the civilian and the military applications of suborbital and orbital flight technologies in India. This has its pros and cons and I’m not judging that now, but here we have a next-generation launch vehicle being called ‘Soorya’ and a next-generation missile being called ‘Surya’. Not helping.

Others have noticed this issue with other projects ISRO is working on and have suggested the organisation stick to its original, de facto naming scheming – e.g. one where the name of a next-generation launch vehicle is Next-generation Launch Vehicle. It’s boring, yes, but there will be no confusion.