EADS has a number of representative offices in the Middle East region. The founding companies of EADS have had a presence in the Gulf region since the 1970s. EADS has been a long-standing partner of the Gulf Cooperation Council States, including the UAE, and plans to develop its partnership policy further for future programmes.
Airbus supplies aircraft to key airlines located in the Middle East such as Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Saudi Arabia Airlines. It provides all types of aircraft to carriers in the region: the A380, A340, A330, A320 and the new A350. In June 2010, Emirates ordered a further 32 A380s, bringing the total Emirates A380 orders to 90 aircraft which is by far the largest A380 order for an airline. Moreover, Qatar Airways is launch customer of the A350. At the end of 2010, Middle East carriers were operating around 435 single and double-aisle Airbus aircraft with significant numbers still on order.
On the military side, a contract for three A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport Aircraft (MRTTs) was signed with the UAE Air Force in 2008 with an additional option for 3 platforms. In 2009, the Saudi Ministry of Defence and Aviation ordered three additional A330 MRTT airplanes from Airbus Military, bringing its total order to six.
Astrium already has notable activities in the region. In cooperation with Thales Alenia Space, Astrium has developed a long term relationship with the Arabsat organisation. Since 2003 seven telecommunication satellites have been ordered with most of them being launched by Ariane. In 2007, the Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat) awarded a contract to a joint Astrium-Thales Alenia Space team to provide a dual (military and commercial) satellite communications system. The Yahsat system comprises two large satellites, Yahsat 1A and Yahsat 1B, to be delivered into orbit, and the associated ground infrastructure. Both Yahsat 1A and Yahsat 1B are Astrium Eurostar E3000 spacecraft with a launch mass of approximately 6,000kg and an electrical power of 15kW.
As a leading manufacturer of military air systems, cutting-edge radar technologies and secure communications systems, Cassidian is already well established in the Middle East. Cassidian's presence in the region extends to large integrated systems, for example for border security or command and control systems, radars, countermeasures, communications systems, test and training facilities as well as mobile hospitals. Cassidian signed the world's first fully integrated border & maritime security system (the Qatar National Security Shield in 2007) while in Saudi Arabia it is prime contractor for a national security programme covering about 9,000 kilometres of the country’s borders. EADS is also a shareholder in European missile systems provider MBDA which has supplied the Mica air-to-air and Exocet anti-ship missiles in the Gulf region.
Eurocopter has been present in The Middle East and Arabian Gulf region for over 30 years with more than 600 helicopters being flown by both civil and military users. Its product line can meet evolving applications that include anti-piracy, counter-insurgency and border patrol missions, emergency medical airlift, search & rescue as well as the servicing of offshore oil/gas platforms. The new EC175 model, for example, was created to meet the oil and gas industry’s demanding requirements.