Sagem (Safran group) and Thales have announced the creation of OPTROLEAD, an equally-owned joint venture for optronics. The official signature creating the new company follows the original Memorandum of Understanding signed on December 20, 2011.
OPTROLEADwill be responsible for the sale of future optronic systems, especially for defense applications.
The new company is staking out a position in several major programs, including the optronic payload for the planned upgrade of the French navy's Atlantique 2 (ATL2) maritime patrol aircraft, the imaging system for the future French-British MALE (medium-altitude, long-endurance) drone, modular optronic systems for army combat vehicles, and optronics for tomorrow's helicopters.
The legal documents for the new entity were signed on July 18 by Philippe Petitcolin, Chairman and CEO of Sagem, and Serge Adrian, Chairman and CEO of Thales Optronique SA.
"We have taken an important step forward in consolidating and enhancing synergies within the French optronics industry," said Serge Adrian. "Our new company OPTROLEAD will effectively combine the leading areas of expertise of its two parent companies."
"OPTROLEAD is already capable of coordinating contracts directly with customers of Sagem and Thales," added Philippe Petitcolin. "For example, the ATL2 upgrade program could well be the first concrete application for this new entity."
Emmanuel de Roquefeuil of Thales was named Chairman of the new company, with Albert Levionnois of Sagem as Chief Executive Officer.
Sagem, a high-tech company in the Safran group, holds world or European leadership positions in optronics, avionics, electronics and safety-critical software for both civil and military markets. Sagem is the No. 1 company in Europe and No. 3 worldwide for inertial navigation systems (INS) used in air, land and naval applications. It is also the world leader in helicopter flight controls and the European leader in optronics and tactical UAV systems. Operating across the globe through the Safran group, Sagem and its subsidiaries employ 7,500 people in Europe, Southeast Asia and North America. Sagem is the commercial name of the company Sagem Défense Sécurité.