“Market Cap $29.02 B As of May 2014
At a Glance
- Industry: Aerospace & Defense
- Founded: 1924
- Country: France
- CEO: Jean-Paul Herteman
- Website: www.safran-group.com
- Employees: 66,289
- Sales: $19.51 B
- Headquarters: Paris
#351 Global 2000
- #483 in Sales
- #469 in Profit
- #702 in Assets
- #370 in Market value
Safran SA engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of aircraft, defense and communication equipment and technologies. It operates through the following segments: Aerospace Propulsion, Aircraft Equipment, Defense, and Security. The Aerospace Propulsion segment develops systems for commercial, training, and combat aircrafts, rocket engines, civil and military helicopters, tactical missiles, and drones. The Aircraft Equipment segment provides hydromechanical and electromechanical equipment, including landing gears, wheels, brakes, and associated systems. The Defense segment provides products for the naval, land, and aviation defense industries, including optronic, avionic, and electronic solutions; and software for civil and defense applications. The Security segment offers travel, infrastructure, electronic transaction, and individual safety and security solutions; and biometric technologies. The company was founded on May 11, 2005 and is headquartered in Paris, France.“
Safran is the world’s oldest aircraft engine manufacturer. Comprising a number of companies, continually refocused on their core businesses, it has played a major role in aerospace, defense and security for more than a century.
Safran is a dynamic enterprise that continually adapts and reinvents itself to meet the technological and economic challenges of the 21st century.
Safran was created on May 11, 2005 by the merger of Snecma and Sagem SA. Safran is the holding company for all subsidiaries of these two founding companies.
1905 – 1924
On June 6, 1905, Louis and Laurent Seguin founded the “Société des Moteurs Gnome” in the Paris suburb of Gennevilliers. In just a few short years, their Gnome rotary engines would become the standard for aeroplanes around the world. Louis Verdet created the company Le Rhône in 1912, and within two years, he would be Gnome’s main competitor. Gnome quickly took over its competitor, creating the Société des Moteurs Gnome & Rhône. Following the First World War, Gnome & Rhône would be one of the world’s leading manufacturers of aircraft engines.
1925 – 1945
In 1925, Marcel Môme created the Société d’Applications Générale d’Electricité et de Mécanique (Sagem), whose initial business was mainly mechanical engineering. Sagem quickly diversified its business, for instance by making precision equipment for the French navy. The Société d’Applications Téléphoniques was created in 1932 and taken over by Sagem in 1939, as the Société Anonyme de Télécommunications (SAT), making it a major player in telephony and telecom business.
1945 – 1970
Gnome & Rhône was nationalized in 1945, taking the name of Snecma and grouping most French aero-engine manufacturers, whose history often dated back to the beginning of the century (Renault, Lorraine, Régnier, etc.).
Over the years both Snecma and Sagem would expand and diversify.
In the early 60’, SAT designed the world’s first infrared guidance system for an air-to-air misile. The first inertial reference unit in France, produced by Sagem, was used on a Nord 2501 aircraft deployed at the Brétigny Flight Test Center. It also supplied inertial guidance systems for the ballistic missiles in France’s nuclear deterrent force, and periscope for France’s missile-launching nuclear submarines. The new Diamant A launcher was guided by a Sagem inertial guidance unit for its first launch in 1965, sending the first French satellite into orbit. Sagem also supplied navigation systems for commercial jetliners, such as the Airbus A300. Today, Sagem is the European leader in inertial navigation systems.
Snecma teamed up with Messier in the 1970s, adding Hispano-Suiza and Bugatti to create the company Messier-Hispano-Bugatti (MHB) that would consolidate all landing system products. Today, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty is the world leader in the segment of the landing and braking markets.
In 1973 Snecma joined the very select club of companies capable of manufacturing commercial jet engines, by signing a collaboration agreement with General Electric Aircraft Engines to develop and manufacture the CFM56 (“CF” for General Electric’s commercial engine line, and “M56” for Snecma’s 56th project).
SAT logged a world first in the 1980s: a switched fiber-optic triple-play network, providing subscribers with a single connection for a complete range of services: telephone, television and Minitel (an early online service). Less than ten years later, the company would provide the set-top boxes for Canal+, France’s first pay TV station.
In 1993 Sagem acquired the Ameriacan company Morpho, a specialist in fingerprint-based biometric recognition systems. Today, Sagem Sécurité is the world leader in this market.
In 1996 Sagem invented a consumer fax machine, the “Phonefax”, and also created the first French GSM mobile phone and the first satellite TV set-top box.
Just one year later, Snecma took full control of its subsidiary SEP (Société Européenne de Propulsion), marking its full-fledged entry in the space propulsion market.
In 2000, Sagem was chosen by French defense procurement agency DGA to develop and produce the AASM modular air-to-ground weapon system.
Helicopter engine manufacturer Turbomeca joined Snecma to continue a technology success story that started in 1938 with company founder Joseph Szydlowski. Today, Turbomeca is the world’s leading producer of turbine engines for helicopters.
Aircraft wiring specialist Labinal Power Systems also joined the Snecma group, and is now a world leader in this market.
Hurel-Hispano, an aerostructures company created by the merger of Hurel-Dubois and Hispano-Suiza, was renamed Aircellein 2005, and became one of the world’s leading manufacturers of aircraft engine nacelles.
Following the creation of Safran in 2005, the Group once again refocused on its core businesses, divesting both its mobile phone and broadband businesses in 2008.
Safran is the world’s oldest aircraft engine manufacturer. Comprising a number of companies with prestigious brands, it has played a major role in aerospace, defense and security for more than a century. Safran is a dynamic enterprise that continually adapts and reinvents itself to meet the technological and economic challenges of the 21st century. To bolster its Security business, Safran acquired the Dutch company Sdu-Identification, renamed Morpho B.V.
In July 2008, Safran and General Electric signed an agreement to extend their 50/50 partnership on aircraft engines (CFM International ) until 2040.
2009 – 2011
Safran continues to apply its strategy of becoming a global leader in the security market, by acquiring the biometrics business of Motorola’s Printrak division, which becomes MorphoTrak, then 81% of General Electric’s Homeland Protection business, which become Morpho Detection. Following the purchase of the American company L-1 Identity Solutions, in 2011 Safran creates MorphoTrust USA, Inc.
The creation of Safran Corporate University provides a campus dedicated to training and skills development for all Safran group employees.
CFM’s new LEAP engine is selected by Chinese planemaker Comac to power its planned C919 jetliner. Other versions of the LEAP engine will subsequently be chosen by Airbus for its A320neo, then by Boeing for the 737 MAX.
Safran merges its Snecma Propulsion Solide (SPS) unit with SME (SNPE Matériaux Energétiques), creating Herakles, the world’s second leading solid propulsion company.
On September 19, 2011, the Safran share is added to the French stock market index, CAC 40.
At year-end 2012, Snecma (Safran) and GE had recorded more than 4,300 orders and commitments for the new LEAP engine, including 1,096 during the year.
Snecma’s new-generation Silvercrest turbofan engine has been chosen by Cessna for the Citation Longitude, its new long-range business jet, slated to enter service in 2017.
The French government and Turbomeca (Safran) have renewed for a period of ten years their contract providing for life-cycle support of the 1,408 turbine engines powering helicopters for French armed forces, civil security units and the defense procurement agency DGA.
French defense procurement agency DGA took delivery of the 10,170th FELIN system, an integrated equipment suite for soldier modernization programs, to outfit the tenth Infantry Regiment in the French army. According to the initial contract, covering more than 20,000 systems, ten other regiments will be equipped with FELIN systems by 2015, at a delivery rate of four regiments per year.“
*Information from Forbes.com and Safran-group.com
**Video published on YouTube by “Safran India“