Thales in France
A global technology leader committed to a safer, greener, more inclusive world
The history of Thales began in France, and France is still the Group's largest country of operation, with 43,000 employees and 46 sites nationwide. Our French operations span all the Group's business segments, and Thales is a leading industrial and economic player at the national and local level. We are a major local employer in many regions, and a partner to some 4,000 local SMEs, which supply us products and services valued at about 2 billion euros a year. Recognised throughout the world for the quality of its research, and with a network of partnerships including prestigious academic institutions such as Ecole Polytechnique and CNRS as well as a whole range of tech start-ups, Thales is considered a national champion of innovation in artificial intelligence, big data, quantum technologies, connectivity, cybersecurity and other fields.
As in all its major countries of operation, Thales maintains an extensive network of partnerships in France, including prestigious academic institutions such as the Ecole Polytechnique, the CNRS and the CEA, industry ecosystems exploring future mobility solutions (Software République) and artificial intelligence (Sinclair), as well as a range of SMEs and start-ups. The Group is the cybersecurity advisor to Station F, the world's largest start-up incubator, and a founder member of La Place Stratégique, a start-up incubator for sovereign technologies.
Around the world, more than a million Thales products are in service on board civil and military aircraft (fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and unmanned air vehicles). Much of this equipment (sensors, avionics, radiocommunications, etc.) is designed, developed and maintained at the Group's French facilities. Our specialists in France are also developing innovative solutions to improve the environmental performance of the air transport sector.
Thales Alenia Space has two major sites in France (Cannes and Toulouse). For more than 30 years, the company has served as prime contractor for military telecommunications systems, supplying four generations of Syracuse satellites to France and building the Athena-Fidus dual-use telecom satellite for France and Italy. Thales Alenia Space is also the exclusive supplier of optical instruments for French intelligence satellites (Pleiades, Helios, CSO, etc.), and a major industry partner on SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography), a joint mission by CNES and NASA. Thales Alenia Space has built all the Meteosat satellites, which provide Eumetsat with data used by Europe's national weather forecasters, including Météo-France, and is the system architect for Kinéis, the first French constellation of 25 nanosatellites for Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
Defence and security
Thales is a long-standing partner of the French armed forces, supporting them both in France and on deployments overseas. A major player on the Rafale programme, Thales is also making important contributions to France's armed forces modernisation programmes, including Scorpion for armoured vehicles, MMCM for mine countermeasures, multi-mission frigates, the SCCOA air command and control system, theatre communication networks, satcom ground stations for the Syracuse system and the PARADE counter-UAV system. Thales also provides critical infrastructure security, in particular to protect French defence ministry sites, personnel and information and communication systems.
Digital Identity and Security
We are helping to drive the digital transformation of state institutions, government agencies and enterprise customers in France and around the world. For example, the French interior ministry recently selected Thales to provide a latest-generation biometric solution to ensure smooth, safe and secure movements at France's air, land and maritime borders, and BNP Paribas has launched a new biometric payment card based on Thales technology.
As part of the programme to modernise France's rail transport system, Thales is working with Engie Solutions and Vossloh to develop the future computer-based interlocking system for SNCF Réseau. We are also a major player on the Grand Paris Express, one of Europe's largest urban rail projects. In partnership with the IER Group, Thales will be providing the ticketing systems for four of the new system's automated lines (15, 16, 17 and 18), including a total of 500 vending machines and 1,200 access gates. Thales is also a partner on SNCF's Autonomous Trains Project.
News and events
Thales and Bertin consolidate their partnership in CBRN defence with successful tests of biological sampling and identification for the PIABC PELICAN projectRead more
Events for France