PARIS: Safran rewires electrical business to drive growth

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As Safran gears up to bring its electrically-powered nose-wheel taxi system to market with partner Honeywell, the French aerospace and security technology group is overhauling its organisation to better drive the market for "more electric" aircraft systems.

The group's three electrical businesses - Labinal, Safran Power and Goodrich Electric Power Systems (GEPS) - are being merged into a single unit. GEPS was acquired earlier this year from United Technologies, which was obliged by regulators to divest a number of businesses to win approval for its $18 billion takeover of Goodrich in 2012.

According to chief executive Jean-Paul Herteman, Safran is also hiring large numbers of engineers to support its development of the CFM International Leap engine, 4,650 of which are on order, with the Leap-1A for the A320neo due to enter service in 2016.

Herteman adds that Safran is also excited about the handover here at Paris of the first Sukhoi Superjet 100 to Western launch customer Interjet. The Superjet's Powerjet engines are a joint-venture product of Safran and Russia's NPO Saturn.

This week at Paris, Safran's Morpho security division will be showing concepts for integrated airport systems, to combine high security with much faster passenger throughput.

The system combines several biometric identification techniques, including include one-second fingerprint reading, facial recognition and at-a-distance iris scanning.

Another scanner can detect liquid and sheet explosives inside luggage - allowing passengers to keep liquids and laptops inside their bags. Pilot installations will be made in 2014, for certification in 2015 and deployment in 2016, says Herteman.

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