Abu Dhabi state defence and security entity Tawazun has reportedly revealed plans to construct a satellite centre in Al Ain, UAE.

As part of this, it has partnered with Airbus and the National Space Science and Technology Centre (NSSTC) from UAE University, state news agency WAM reported.

The Satellite Assembly, Integration and Testing (AIT) Centre will facilitate components production and assembly, integration and testing of small to medium satellites.

The centre will develop and build communication, navigation and hyperspectral satellites with a size range of 50kg and 250kg.

It is expected to start operations in early next year.

Tawazun chief economic development officer Matar Ali Al Romaithi was quoted by the news agency as saying: “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.

“The UAE is building and acquiring the knowledge required to become a regional hub for space activities and advanced research and development.

“This centre 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.”

Airbus will support the design, equipping and commissioning of the facility, as well as equipment procurement, deployment and operational qualification.

Last month, UAE successfully launched the country’s first interplanetary spacecraft called Hope on a Mitsubishi H-IIA booster from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan.