Tawazun Economic Council (Tawazun) said it is collaborating with Airbus and the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) of the United Arab Emirates University, to build and develop a satellite assembly, integration and testing centre in Al Ain region.
The AIT Satellite Center will be manufacturing components and assembling, integrating and testing small to medium satellites.
The new facility, which will help develop and build communication, navigation and hyperspectral satellites ranging in size between 50 and 250 kg, is set to start operations at the beginning of 2021.
The new centre will be based at the NSSTC facilities in Al Ain, with Airbus supporting the national space centre during the design, outfitting and commissioning of the facility.
As per the deal, Airbus will also manage the procurement, installation and operational qualification required for the equipment.
The collaboration was established and facilitated by Tawazun as part of its important role as an industry enabler dedicated to driving a collaborative defense and security ecosystem, securing and progressing technology development, and building national competencies and skills within the UAE.
“This is our second project after Yahsat, and there are many more projects to come, as Tawazun works to further develop the UAE space sector,” said Matar Ali Al Romaithi, Chief Economic Development Officer of Tawazun.
“The UAE is building and acquiring the knowledge required to become a regional hub for space activities and advanced research and development. This center is an integral part of those plans and consequently Tawazun has worked to make sure that it operates as a sustainable resource for the next five to seven years with a view to becoming permanent," he stated.
“We also value the significant contribution that Airbus is making to the center’s sustainability, as well as to the increase and development of our Emirati resource and expertise. NSSTC will accumulate critical knowledge from Airbus through this project, and our national competencies and skills will increase significantly,” observed Al Romaithi.
Airbus President (Middle East and Africa) Mikail Houari said: “The space industry is an important and strategic sector for the UAE, as it enables the development of high-level skills and drives innovation."
Airbus, he stated, remains committed to supporting the advancement of all key elements of the UAE’s aerospace industry.
"For many years, we have worked closely in partnership with the nation’s leading industrial entities to help create new technological solutions and provide global expertise and experience to local talent," observed Houari.
"This new collaboration will support the future growth of the UAE’s space and satellite sector, contributing to the country’s economic diversification strategy. It will also support the continued efforts around Emiratization, which will be vital for ensuring long-term sustainable development of the sector,” added Houari.-TradeArabia News Service