Safran press release
The acquisition was carried out through a joint company created for the purpose called HMS Laser, equally owned by Safran Electronics & Defense and MBDA.
Founded in 1966, CILAS designs, develops, produces and sells laser products and optical solutions for military and civil applications.
Safran Electronics & Defense and MBDA will support the growth of CILAS, as well as the development and production of solutions designed to support France’s sovereignty and strategic independence, while also facilitating the company’s European positioning and export opportunities.
CILAS is a specialized equipment supplier offering cross-functional technologies. It will continue to apply a business model based on its position as a supplier of products and technologies to all domestic and international customers.
“CILAS is the French laser technology champion,” said Eric Béranger, CEO of MBDA. “Today’s weapon systems increasingly call on latest-generation lasers, and this trend is likely to continue. By combining the complementary strengths of CILAS and MBDA, we will meet the upcoming challenges for France and Europe of achieving operational superiority and strategic independence.”
Martin Sion, CEO of Safran Electronics & Defense, added, “CILAS is a long-standing partner to our company. Our complementary optronics capabilities will enable us to develop and refine our solutions involving laser designation, while also investigating the possibilities of optical communications for both terrestrial and space applications. We can now team up with CILAS and our partner MBDA to offer sovereignty solutions that integrate power lasers, by calling on our respective areas of expertise.”
Naval News comments:
During the Euronaval press tour last month, Admiral Malbruno, deputy chief of naval operations for plans and programs, said that the French Navy will conduct an at-sea directed energy weapon test in 2023. He added that one of the advantages of the technology relies in that the “cost per shot is very efficient, once you have invested in the turret and the laser source.” Asked by Naval News for more details on the type of vessel which will be used for the test and when such test would take place, Admiral Malbruno replied: “Right now I will not tell you more about the laser testing in 2023 except that it will occur.”
Earlier this year, a system fitted on Alsace bearing a strong resemblance to the HELMA-P laser weapon system by French company CILAS was spotted in Cyprus.