Thales has developed close ties with Belgian industry over many years, and has worked hand in hand with universities and research institutes to develop innovative products for its customers.
In 1988, Thales formed an alliance with Forges de Zeebrugge (FZ), a specialist manufacturer of 70 mm/2.75" air-to-ground rockets for aircraft and helicopters. Today FZ is a wholly owned Thales subsidiary and generates 99% of its revenues in export markets.
The 8,000+ sq.m FZ production facility at Herstal manufactures non-pyrotechnic components and houses the company's headquarters. On January 2017, Forges de Zeebrugge became Thales.
In October 2016, Thales acquired Belgian start-up AvioVision, a leading innovator in the digitalisation of aircraft operations based on Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) solutions.
AvioVision developed Aviobook, an EFB application platform already equipped on 900 aircraft across 25 airlines. Pilots use Aviobook to prepare and optimise their flight in collaboration with their airline operations centre.
Thales also maintains a permanent presence in Brussels to serve European institutions and NATO. The Group is taking part in a number of major European programmes, including EGNOS, Galileo, Copernicus, Clean Sky, SESAR and Shift2rail, and is contributing to European research through the Framework Programme and European Defence Agency projects.
A trusted NATO partner, Thales provides the satcom network service for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The Group also supportsNATO on several critical C4ISTAR projects, including ACCS (Air Command and Control System) and ALTBMD (Active Layer Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence). Thales also provides encryption systems and secure satellite communications for the Alliance.