Thales Boosts Rocket Production at Belgian Site to Strengthen European Defense

Thales Boosts Rocket Production at Belgian Site to Strengthen European Defense

(IN BRIEF) Thales Belgium has inaugurated a new assembly line at its Herstal facility, marking a significant expansion in the production of 70-mm laser-guided rockets. Supported by a €20 million investment and government backing, including from the Walloon Region and the European Union, the initiative aims to increase production capacity from 1,000 to 5,000 rockets annually by 2025. The move is set to enhance Europe’s defense capabilities amidst rising global security challenges, leveraging Thales’s leadership in precision technologies and strategic partnerships to meet the evolving needs of European armed forces.

(PRESS RELEASE) LA DÉFENSE, 2-Jul-2024 — /EuropaWire/ — Thales has unveiled a new assembly line at its Herstal facility in Belgium, dedicated to increasing production of 70-mm laser-guided rockets by fivefold. This expansion is part of a comprehensive R&D initiative supported by the Walloon Region, marking a significant milestone in Thales’s €20 million investment strategy launched in 2023. Backed by the Belgian government and the European Union’s Act in Support of Ammunition Production (ASAP) plan, the inauguration ceremony was attended by Belgian Minister of Defence Ludivine Dedonder.

The enhanced production capacity underscores Thales Belgium’s pivotal role as a leader in 70-mm rocket systems within Europe. Following a recent commitment from Minister Dedonder to bolster ordnance production, the ramp-up aims to meet heightened demand from European armed forces swiftly. The rockets, currently a NATO-standard 70-mm calibre, serve critical roles in various military platforms including manned and unmanned vehicles across land, air, and naval domains.

“This expansion of our 70 mm rocket production line is a direct response to escalating international demand and evolving defense needs amid a complex global security landscape,” commented Minister Dedonder. “By choosing Belgium for this strategic expansion, Thales reaffirms its commitment to enhancing Europe’s strategic autonomy and fostering regional peace and security.”

Thales Belgium has swiftly positioned itself to increase rocket production from 1,000 to 5,000 units annually by 2025, supported by new hires and supply chain optimizations. The initiative also aims to strengthen collaboration between federal authorities and Wallonia, leveraging local expertise in precision technologies to enhance market competitiveness and support broader European and NATO defense initiatives.

“The inauguration of this new production line in Herstal reflects Thales’s dedication to innovation and its strategic investment in European defense capabilities,” noted Hervé Dammann, Executive Vice President of Land and Air Systems at Thales. “Supported by both Belgian and EU commitments, Thales Belgium is proud to contribute its expertise in 70-mm rocket systems to bolster the defense readiness of European armed forces.”

This move underscores Thales’s ongoing commitment to advancing defense capabilities while fostering regional economic growth and innovation.

About Thales

Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global leader in advanced technologies specialized in three business domains: Defence & Security, Aeronautics & Space, and Cybersecurity & Digital identity.

It develops products and solutions that help make the world safer, greener and more inclusive.

The Group invests close to €4 billion a year in Research & Development, particularly in key innovation areas such as AI, cybersecurity, quantum technologies, cloud technologies and 6G.

Thales has close to 81,000 employees in 68 countries. In 2023, the Group generated sales of €18.4 billion.

About Thales Belgium

Thales Belgium, a subsidiary of the Thales Group, has operated in Belgium for over 50 years, serving three core markets — Defence & Security, Aeronautics & Space and Digital Identity & Security — and developing products and solutions that help make the world safer, greener and more inclusive.

Thales employs over 1,200 people in Belgium at nine sites (Herstal, Tubize, Brussels, Charleroi, Hasselt, Leuven, Zaventem and Hasselt). Thales Belgium consistently contributes to the country’s research and development programmes, in particular in key sectors of innovation such as quantum technologies, edge computing, 6G and cybersecurity.

Media Contacts:

Camille Heck
Thales, Media Relations Land & Naval Defence
+33 (0)6 73 78 33 63

Alice Pruvot
Head of Media Relations, Aeronautics & Defense
+33 7 70 27 11 37

SOURCE: Thales


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