Thales Group

The French multinational company Thales Group numbers among the largest defense contractors worldwide.1 The company dates back to 1893, when it was founded as an electronics and communication systems business. Over the years, Thales Group expanded its production lines to include military systems,2 mainly for the aerospace industry.3 Nowadays, this sector accounts for around 50 percent of the business.4 The company produces a vast array of equipment, from radars and electronic surveillance satellites to tactical communication and combat management systems.5
Thales also takes part in a range of joint-venture projects, e.g. with the Kalyani Group, to manufacture weapons systems for India,6 as well as with Airbus and two other companies, to build nuclear missiles for the new French submarines.7
In 2004, the World Bank’s Integrity Unit debarred Thales Group from World Bank-financed contracts for a period of one year because of fraudulent practices.8 The company has also been criticized for delivering systems and equipment for the Rafale Fighter, which is still being sold to countries involved in crisis and war, e.g. Qatar and Egypt.9
Address: Schützenstraße 25, 10117 Berlin

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4 Ibid.
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