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Safran inaugurates extension of its antenna and ground station engineering and production center for satellites and flight tests


La Teste de Buch, France, October 12, 2021

Martin Sion, CEO of Safran Electronics & Defense, and Jean-Marie Bétermier, CEO of Safran Data Systems and Executive Vice President, Space at Safran Electronics & Defense, today inaugurated the extension to the company’s antenna engineering and production center at La Teste de Buch in southwest France. Several honored guests attended the inauguration ceremony, including Alain Rousset, President of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, Marie-Hélène Des Esgaulx, President of the local urban community organization COBAS (COmmunauté d’Agglomération du Bassin d’Arcachon Sud-Pôle Atlantique), and prestigious domestic customers, including French space agency CNES, defense procurement agency DGA, Space Command and prime contractors Airbus Defence & Space, Thales Alenia Space and ArianeGroup.

The facility groups teams from R&D, production and customer support who handle satellite antennas and ground stations, as well as flight testing for Safran Data Systems. The extension inaugurated today doubles the site’s surface area, now spanning 6,850m², to respond to the strong growth driven by the increasing number of space programs being implemented (science, telecom, constellations, etc.). The engineering and production facility now has nearly 160 highly-qualified employees

Created in 1981, this plant focuses on the construction of antennas and ground stations for applications including data reception from satellites, space probes and flight test telemetry. These products are used for major space programs and test centers in France and around the world.

Fostering cross-functionality and wellbeing at work

A new assembly and wiring shop for multiband microwave sources and the antenna integration facility, covering 1,500 square meters, will boost production efficiency by 60%, while also improving occupational safety and working conditions. The open-space approach to work areas favors cross-functional collaboration.

From laying the cornerstone to commissioning of the new infrastructures, spanning 3,900 square meters, construction took 12 months and was supported by COBAS.

“Safran Data Systems has logged sustained annual growth of 6% over the past eight years,” said Jean-Marie Bétermier, CEO of Safran Data Systems and Executive Vice President, Space at Safran Electronics & Defense. “This expanded industrial facility will allow us to deliver even better support for our customers and their projects. By combining centers of excellence for engineering, testing and production, it allows us to meet our needs now and for many years to come.”

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Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment and interiors), defense and space markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world, where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible. Safran has a global presence, with 76,000 employees and sales of 16.5 billion euros in 2020 and holds, alone or in partnership, world or regional leadership positions in its core markets. Safran undertakes research and development programs to maintain the environmental priorities of its R&T and Innovation roadmap. 

Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices.

Safran Data Systems, a subsidiary of Safran Electronics & Defense, is a world leader in testing instrumentation, telemetry and space communications. Based in France, it makes a complete range of satellite tracking ground stations and equipment, working with satellite manufacturers, integrators, commercial operators and space agencies (communications and Earth observation satellites)..

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