The Egyptian Satellite Assembly, Integration and Test Center (AIT) Project is considered the first specialized center in the field of satellite assembly and testing in the Arab region to be located in Egypt, and the second of its kind at regional level. It is launched within the framework of the Egyptian Space Program (ESP), affiliated to the National Authority for Remote Sensing & Space Sciences (NARSS), meant to use space technologies and applications in development plans in all fields.
The project aims to serve research and remote sensing projects, to establish a base for the technology of satellite assembly and industry in Egypt in order to be taught in Egyptian universities, and to build human resource capabilities in this field in a manner that supports purely Egyptian-made satellites and transfers relevant expertise. Within this context, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Egypt and China in March 2013 provided for that the Chinese side would adopt the Egyptian experience in the establishment of "Egypt Sat II" and that Egyptian experts would participate in the Satellite assembly and test processes as well as in what is called "China's Satellite Missions to Test the Space New Technologies", besides testing 4 parts of the purely Egyptian-made satellite by the Chinese side.
AIT Project will render Egypt a leader in the Middle East in terms of relevant training programs and satellite industry, besides training African technical cadres to use satellite- related techniques in light of Egypt’s potential hosting of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA). This is in addition to promoting the state’s plan for scientific research, desert watch, agricultural crops, and water resources.
The project is financed by a Chinese grant worth USD 23 million to be provided under the economic and technical cooperation agreement signed between both countries on 16 September 2015, within the framework of signing the Egyptian – Chinese cooperation agreement in the field of space and remote sensing between the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and its Chinese counterpart during the first presidential visit to China in December 2014.
While the Chinese side will prepare and provide a list including necessary equipment for the establishment of AIT and delegate Chinese technicians to Egypt in order to install such equipment, the Egyptian side, on the other hand, will be responsible for all costs related to customs, internal transport, delivery and storage of equipment procured for the project's implementation, besides recruiting Egyptian technicians for the installation of such equipment and providing sufficient resources to the location of the project.
Further, the project supports cooperation between Egypt and China, given that both sides are willing to cooperate in this field and enhance bilateral relation in various fields.