Thales, Safran to Create Optronics Joint Venture

By Tish Drake | December 22, 2011
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Thales and Safran on Tuesday announced a Memorandum of Understanding to create an equally owned joint venture for optronics (electrooptical) systems and equipment, in particular for new defense systems.

Through this joint venture Thales and Safran will combine their respective areas of expertise in optronics to create new systems, including the optronics pod for the modernized Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft, the imaging system for the upcoming French-British medium altitude, long endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial systems, modular optronics systems for army land vehicles, and optronics for next generation helicopters. The partnership will be in the form of a joint venture covering technical, commercial and program aspects, with the industrial assets remaining under the control of the two parent companies, according to the company.

Thales Chairman and CEO Luc Vigneron paid tribute to "a win-win partnership which will deliver best-in-class technologies to our customers, and bolster our position in international markets."

Safran Chairman and CEO Jean-Paul Herteman added: "I am delighted to sign this future-looking partnership, which enables us to avoid duplicating major funding, and also brings together the top skills in this field, fostering dynamic synergies between our teams."

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