Dubai Airshow saw the announcement on 15 November 2023, of a major new project for EPI, and EDGE group entity, to manufacture multirole cargo compartment removable tanks (CCRT) for Airbus Defence & Space as part of the C295 project. 

The C295 is a versatile tactical transport aircraft produced by Airbus Defence and Space, with variants including the C295 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) Aircraft, and the C295 Armed ISR (Intelligence Surveillance & Reconnaissance) Aircraft and the C295W Transport and Surveillance Aircraft.

The CCRT facilitates Ground Refuelling (GR) operations for both land and air vehicles in remote areas, supporting weights of up to 6 tonnes, Extended Range (ER) operations for aircraft, accommodating weights of up to two tonnes, and Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) operations, allowing for weights of up to five tonnes.

The deal is for 150 or more hard and soft metallic parts, with EPI procuring raw materials, and performing machining, sheet metal forming, surface treatment procedures, along with the assembly.

Speaking at the event, Michael Deshaies, CEO of EPI, said that through the contract, EPI will achieve multiple new certifications for the specialised assembly processes, and the program will introduce new capabilities for large, complex assemblies.

The C295 Projects enabled and supported by the Tawazun Council, an independent government entity that works closely with the Ministry of Defence and security services of UAE. Shareef Hashim Al Hashmi, CEO of Operations at Tawazun Council described the project as a an addition to UAE’s economic diversification strategy. “By supporting the development of a diversified and competitive industrial base, the program is helping to create jobs, attract investment, and boost the country’s GDP.”

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Mikail Houari, President of Airbus Africa and the Middle East, expressed that the UAE has made significant progress in enhancing its manufacturing capabilities in the aerospace sector over the years. Such progress is a component of the nation’s long-term vision to promote local development and strengthen its position on the global industrial map.

Houari said: “Today, we celebrate another milestone in our long-standing partnership with the UAE. This program aims to enhance EPI’s capacity, competitiveness and expertise, which will empower its technical assembly skills and knowledge within the defence and aerospace industries.”