Safran S.A. is a Frenchmultinational aircraft and rocket engine, aerospace component, and security company. It was formed by a merger between the aircraft and rocket engine manufacturer and aerospace component manufacturer group SNECMA and the security company SAGEM in 2005. Its headquarters are located in Paris.
The name Safran, literally meaning "rudder blade", was chosen from 4,250 suggestions. As a holding company for many subsidiaries the name was deemed suitable for the suggestion of direction, movement, and strategy. Safran also translates as saffron, which the company highlights as one of the catalysts for early international trade.
Sagem (Société d’Applications Générales de l’Electricité et de la Mécanique) was created in 1924 by Marcel Môme. In 1939, Sagem entered the telephone and transmissions market by taking control of Société d’Applications Téléphoniques (SAT). It acquired Société de Fabrication d’Instruments de Mesure (Sfim), a measurement instrument specialist, in 1999. However, by 2008 Sagem Mobile and Sagem Communications had been sold. Sagem Mobile became Sagem Wireless in January 2009.
In June 2014, Arianespace CEO Stephane Israel announced that European efforts to remain competitive in response to SpaceX' recent success have begun in earnest. This included the creation of a new joint venture company from Arianespace's two largest shareholders: the launch-vehicle producer Airbus Group and engine-producer Safran. No specific details on how the new company will become more competitive have been released.
The aerospace propulsion branch groups all operations concerning the propulsion of aeroplanes, helicopters, missiles, and launchers, for the civil aviation, military aviation, and space markets: design, production, marketing, testing, maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO).
The defense security branch operates in the civil, military, and space markets, and covers the following areas: inertial guidance and navigation equipment (SIGMA INS based on ring laser gyro sensors), optronics systems and equipment, avionics systems, UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) systems, air-land systems and equipment, biometric identification systems, secure transaction terminals, and smart cards. On July 1, 2009, the European Union approved Safran's acquisition of 81 percent of the GE Security division which produces airport security systems and biometric identification systems.
Safran's biometrics products and technologies make up the "biometric data acquisition terminals, enrollment services, and processing software" used in Aadhaar, India's national identification number system and the largest biometric database in the world.