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ArianeGroup (Joint-venture between Airbus and Safran) #SpaceEnablers

A 50/50 joint venture between Airbus and Safran, ArianeGroup is a world leader in access to space. The company develops and supplies innovative and competitive solutions for civil and military space launch systems, with first-rate expertise in the most advanced propulsion technologies.

Our expertise

Space launch

As the prime contractor for Europe’s Ariane 5 and 6 launcher families, ArianeGroup provides Europe with independent and reliable access to space. Its activities cover the entire space launcher life cycle (design, development, production, operation and marketing) through its subsidiary Arianespace.


ArianeGroup is the prime contractor for the M51 missiles, an essential component of France’s ocean deterrent force. Its teams combine the skills of more than 900 French manufacturers to support national independence.

Spacecraft solutions

ArianeGroup develops propulsion and equipment solutions for space vehicles and satellite platforms, as well as equipment and instruments for payloads.

Solutions for space launchers

ArianeGroup leverages its long-standing expertise in space launchers to support space companies looking to develop or improve their launch systems, launchers or thrusters.

Critical infrastructures

As an experienced prime contractor for ground segments and space infrastructures, ArianeGroup designs and manages the construction of critical infrastructures for space, defense and security.

ArianeGroup in figures
employees in France and Germany
subsidiaries and major holdings
2,7 Billion
2020 revenues

ArianeGroup, more than half a century of History

From the birth of the French space program to the missiles of the national deterrent force, here are the major milestones in the history of ArianeGroup:  

  • 1965: The Diamant rocket puts the first French satellite Asterix 1 into orbit
  • 1971: ArianeGroup contracted to support France’s deterrent force 
  • 1973: Launch of the Ariane program
  • 1979: Inaugural flight of Ariane 1
  • 1980: Commissioning of the S3 missile (SSBS)
  • 1985: Commissioning of the M4 missile (MSBS)
  • 1998: First successful commercial launch of Ariane 5
  • 2006: First successful firing of the M51
  • 2010: Operational commissioning of the M51.1
  • 2014: M51.3 development and production contract for the DGA
  • 2015: Ariane 6 development contract signed with the ESA 
  • 2016: Creation of Airbus Safran Launchers, acquisition of a 74% stake in Arianespace 
  • 2016: Contract awarded by the ESA to develop and operate both versions of the Ariane 6 launcher
  • 2016: Nuclear qualification of the SNLE Le Triomphant, operational commissioning of the M51.2
  • 2017: Airbus Safran Launchers becomes ArianeGroup
  • 2017: First GEOTracker surveillance contract signed with the Joint Space Command
  • 2018: 100th launch of Ariane 5
  • 2020: Contract signed with the ESA for the development of the Themis reusable stage demonstrator 
  • 2021: Delivery of the first batch of equipment for the Ariane 6 upper stage

A 50/50 joint venture between Airbus and Safran

ArianeGroup was born from a shared ambition between Airbus and Safran to take the European space industry to the highest level. Owned equally by the two groups, ArianeGroup combines all their activities and expertise in civil and military space launchers into a single, cohesive entity. With 7,600 highly skilled employees in France and Germany, and 11 major subsidiaries and holdings, ArianeGroup was finalized in 2016, but has its roots in more than 70 years of European space history.



Preparing tomorrow’s success, today

Innovation, the result of technical excellence, employee creativity and a passion for space and technology, permeates all of ArianeGroup’s activities. The group makes products with exceptional performance, manufactured using the most innovative technologies (3D printing, friction stir welding, laser surface treatment, etc.). It also develops future space transportation solutions through research programs supported by the European Space Agency. This includes the reusable main stage demonstrator for the Themis space launcher, for which ArianeGroup is leading the first phase of development, where it will validate advanced technologies that will be used in launchers over the next few decades.

Space launch

Ariane 5 ECA

Competitive and reliable launch services

Through its subsidiary Arianespace, ArianeGroup guarantees Europe’s independent access to space, while offering competitive and reliable space transportation services and solutions for all types of satellites (institutional and commercial) and for all orbits. With its range of three launchers (Ariane, Soyuz and Vega) operated from South America (French Guiana) and Central Asia (Baikonur), Arianespace has put more than 550 satellites into orbit.


Advanced technologies for national defense

An essential component of France’s ocean deterrent force, the M51 missile is a combination of cutting-edge expertise managed by ArianeGroup. It offers exceptional performance, while meeting the most demanding reliability, safety and security requirements. With its unique expertise in space object detection and monitoring, ArianeGroup also runs the GEOTracker® global observation network, which provides permanent coverage of the entire geostationary arc with the highest degree of operational availability and programming flexibility. The GEOTracker® network monitors geostationary space for the Joint Space Command.

Any questions about ArianeGroup?

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