By next spring there should be a new name in the marketplace: Hensoldt. Under current plans this will be the branding adopted early in 2017 by the newly formed Airbus Defence and Space Electronics and Border Security (EBS). The company was created at the start of the year, and in March it was announced that it would be sold to US investment company KKR, which will initially take 74.9 per cent of the shares following approvals from the French and German governments. The European Union has already given the sale the green light.
EBS brings together the sensor technology activities of Airbus DS into a single company.
With 4,000 employees, mostly in Germany, EBS draws on the heritage and advanced technologies of predecessor companies such as Aérospatiale- Matra, Dornier, Telefunken and Zeiss. Among the current key projects of EBS are the ASR-NG airport surveillance radar, the TRS-4D naval radar for Germany’s F125 frigates, the MILDS missile warning sensor and antenna development for the Typhoon’s Captor-E radar.
“We have decided to combine the sensor technologies of Airbus Defence and Space together with the associated electronics and to create a new sensor house outside the Airbus Group, since we are convinced that defence electronics will constitute a profitable growth market following its own laws,” explained Thomas Müller, managing director of EBS. “The best way for us to meet these special requirements is to enter the market without being dependent on a platform provider so that we can base our business model entirely on customer demands.”
According to Müller, the sale to KKR “will help us to develop into a global Germany-based supplier of premium defence and security electronics that is not dependent on any platform”.
When the share sale is finalised, EBS will take the name of Moritz Carl Hensoldt, a 19th century pioneer of optical instruments.