Turkey's first 100 percent domestic national satellite, TÜRKSAT 6A, which will be produced mostly from national components, is expected to be completed by 2020, an official said Thursday.
The project for the satellite is part of an initiative to create domestic satellites to be launched in Turkey, rather than assembling the technology with foreign parts for launch abroad.
Speaking at a symposium organized by Turkey's Scientific and Technological Research Council (TÜBİTAK), Türksat Deputy Director Hasan Hüseyin Ertok said that a significant part of the satellite's tests will take place in Turkey.
Noting that the project would cost around $200 million if a foreign company undertook it, Ertok said that Turksat will cover the costs for launching the satellite.
Meanwhile, TÜBİTAK Public Research Assistance Group (KAMAG) Coordinator Mustafa Ay said that the project only spent $39,264 million out of its $142,920 million budget so far.
Once launched, the satellite is expected provide service in Europe, Turkey and India, TÜBİTAK official Mesut Gökten said, adding that the finished satellite will last for 16 years.
The project to create TÜRKSAT 6A was launched in 2014. It is carried out by satellite and communications giant Türksat A.Ş. and TÜBİTAK. Nearly 350 researchers are working on the project.The satellite project is the latest in a line of communication satellite projects headed by Türksat, and part of a greater national goal to increase Turkey's role in the global space industry. It aims to provide Turkey with more technological autonomy by decreasing the country's reliance on foreign companies.