The company was founded in 1922 in Hengelo as NV Hazemeyer's Fabriek van Signaalapparaten by Hazemeyer and Siemens & Halske for the development of naval fire-control systems. It was way to get around the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles which did not allow German companies to manufacture military equipment. In 1940 the company's factory was captured by the invading German Army. After the war the company was nationalised as N.V. Hollandse Signaalapparaten (Signaal). In 1956 the majority of Signaal shares were purchased by Philips, a Netherlands-based electronics company. Between 1956 and the end of the Cold War Signaal's business expanded to the point where it had customers in 35 countries and over 5,000 employees. In 1990 Philips decided defence was not a core activity and sold Signaal to Thomson-CSF, a French electronics and defence contractor. Signaal became Thomson-CSF Signaal. With the renaming of Thomson to Thales in 2000 Thomson-CSF Signaal became Thales Nederland.