Diehl VASysteme and Thomson-CSF Sextant are formalising their longstanding co-operation in the German market with the establishment of an avionics joint venture.

Called Diehl Avionik Systeme the new company will be 49%-owned by Diehl, with the French giant holding the rest. It will have annual sales of around DM220 million ($106 million) and employ 800 staff, making it the largest avionics company in Germany.

The organisation will incorporate Diehl subsidiary BGT's aircraft control and navigation division and VDO-Luftfahrtgeräte Werk, itself a joint venture between BGT and Sextant.

Diehl Avionik Systeme will specialise in cockpit display systems, computers and instruments, as well as electronic flight and engine controls and modular avionics for cabin systems. It is already discussing a strategic partnership with DaimlerChrysler Aerospace Airbus in the areas of secondary flight controls and cabin systems and says it is "open" to the idea of creating other joint ventures.

The new company will be a major supplier of displays and controls for Airbuses, Eurocopter Tiger and NH Industries NH90 helicopters and the Eurofighter.

Sextant says the tie-up with Diehl will strengthen its objectives of enhancing its role as a systems integrator and developing closer relationships with its international customers. Significant savings in research and development spending are also expected to be achieved by eliminating duplication.

Source: Flight International