Thales, Nexter and Sagem set up MARS joint company for architecture phase of Scorpion program

Paris, November 30th, 2010

French defense procurement agency DGA has selected a consortium formed by Thales, Nexter and Sagem (Safran group) to lead the architecture phase of the Scorpion program on behalf of the French army. This two-year contract (four years with optional tranches) is worth €21 million.

The consortium has created a dedicated company called MARS (Maitrise de lARchitecture Scorpion) to oversee the architecture phase, thus guaranteeing independent program governance and simplifying the industrial organization.

Formed by three companies who are leaders in their respective markets, MARS will draw on their complementary areas of expertise to cover all aspects of the Scorpion program. The partners bring to the table their in-depth understanding of armies' current and future operational needs, and the systems and equipment needed to meet these requirements.

MARS was created to ensure that these systems and equipment deliver the capabilities demanded by front-line combat units, now and in the future, while ensuring the program's unity and cost-effectiveness. It will work closely with the DGA, army units and armed forces headquarters to accomplish this mission, based on a brand-new cooperative working mode, using a networked, platform-based organization, while fostering open communications with all industry industrial partners.

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About Thales
Thales is a world leader in the Defence and Security, Aerospace and Transport markets. With a 68,000 strong workforce across 50 countries, Thales' turnover in 2009 stood at €12.9 billion. With 22,500 engineers and research staff, Thales offers the unique capacity to create and deploy equipment, systems and services which respond to the most complex security requirements. Its exceptional international presence allows it to work very closely with its clients around the world. www.thalesgroup.com

About Nexter
Thanks to its expertise in land defence systems, Nexter is the European market leader. Its activities span the supply of systems and munitions for air, land and sea. Nexter achieved a 2009 turnover of €887 million and the business allocated 12% of its turnover to Research & Development. The range of products offered by Nexter mainly include the ARAVIS® multi-mission vehicle, the combat vehicle VBCI, the CAESAR® and 105 LG artillery systems, BONUS intelligent ammunition, LU 211 modular ammunition, the SIT-V1 battle management system, customer service, support and upgrade .www.nexter-group.fr

About Sagem
Sagem is a hi-tech company in the Safran Group. It is a world or European leader in solutions and services in optronics, avionics, electronics and critical software for the civilian and military markets. Sagem is the European no.1 and the worldwide no.3 in INSs for aeronautic, naval and land applications. Sagem is also the worldwide no.1 in helicopter flight controls and the European no.1 in optronic and tactical UAV systems Present across the globe via the Safran group's international network. Sagem and its subsidiaries employ 6900 people in Europe, South-East Asia and the US. Sagem is the commercial name of the company Sagem Défense Sécurité. www.sagem-ds.com
Thales, Systèmes C4I de Défense et de Sécurité
Aude Colas des Francs
+33 1 46 13 20 86
[aude.colasdesfrancs@thalesgroup.com->]

Nexter
Laetitia Blandin
+33 1 30 97 36 41
[l.blandin@nexter-group.fr->]

Sagem (Safran group)
Philippe Wodka-Gallien
+33 1 58 11 19 49
[philippe.wodka-gallien@sagem.com->]

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