Sagem and MTU create safety joint venture in Munich

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Safran's electronics arm, Sagem, and German engine specialist MTU have established a 50:50 joint venture to engineer software and hardware for safety systems on civil and military aircraft.

Named AES Aerospace Embedded Solutions, the company will be based at MTU's headquarters in Munich and employ around 200 engineers by the end of the year. Most of the staff will be recruited from MTU, but also include some Sagem employees.

Philippe Petitcolin, Sagem's chairman and chief executive, and Egon Behle, MTU's chief executive, have inked the co-operation deal after both companies had tentatively agreed to the partnership last December

A main area of AES' activity will be to develop engine control systems, for example, for the Europrop International TP400-D6 powerplant on the Airbus A400M military transport. But the engineering firm will also design other "safety-critical soft[ware] and hardware", for civil programmes such as landing gear and brake controls as well as aircraft system monitoring and information equipment.

Sagem's Christophe Bruneau, who used to be programme director at Europrop, will become AES' chief executive, while MTU's Thomas Fähr has been named chief technical officer.

Behle says that the joint venture will provide both parent companies with access to numerous future programmes in the aviation and defence industries worldwide.