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Hensoldt AG
Company typePublic (Aktiengesellschaft)
IndustryDefence, electronics, aerospace
PredecessorAirbus DS Electronics and Border Security
FoundedFebruary 28, 2017; 7 years ago (2017-02-28)
Area served
Key people
Thomas Müller (CEO)
ProductsElectronic equipment, avionics, radars, telecommunications equipment, software
RevenueIncrease 1.47 billion (2021)[1]
Increase €-14 million (2021)[1]
Increase €-36 million (2021)[1]
Total assetsDecrease €2.76 billion (2021)[1]
Total equityDecrease €1.86 billion (2021)[1]
OwnerGerman government (25,1%)
Leonardo S.p.A. (25,1%)
KKR & Co. L.P. (17,9%)
DWS Group (3,14 %)
free float (29 %)
Number of employees
6,316[1] (December 2021)
DivisionsHensoldt Sensors, Hensoldt Optronics, GEW Technologies, EuroAvionics Holding, Kelvin Hughes, Nexeya

Hensoldt AG (HENSOLDT) is a multinational corporation headquartered in Germany which focuses on sensor technologies for protection and surveillance missions in the defence, security and aerospace sectors. The main product areas are radar, optoelectronics and avionics. Hensoldt’s main office is in Taufkirchen near Munich, Germany.

On 25 September 2020, Hensoldt AG was listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange at an issue price of 12.00 euros. Based on the issue price, the market capitalisation amounted to 1.26 billion euros.[2]


The company originated from the electronics business unit of the defence division of the Airbus Group. At the end of February 2017, Airbus sold this business unit to the US financial investor KKR[3][4][5] for 1.1 billion euros.[6] Since December 2020, Federal Republic of Germany holds a minimum share,[7] which is managed by the Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg).

Since 2017, the company has been known as Hensoldt. The company’s name can be traced back to Moritz Carl Hensoldt (1821-1903), a German pioneer of optics and precision mechanics in the 19th century. In 1852, he founded an optical workshop for telescopes, astronomical equipment and microscopes.[8][9]

In 2019, media reported that KKR was in the process of preparing for a listing of 20-30% on the stock exchange or a sale of Hensoldt.[6]

In 2023, Hensoldt acquired defence systems integrator ESG Elektroniksystem for an enterprise value of 675 million euros ($727.79 million), along with an earn-out of up to 55 million euros.[10]

Corporate structure[edit]

The Hensoldt Group’s holding structure includes the following direct and indirect operating subsidiaries (as of September 2019):



Hensoldt TRML-3D radar

Hensoldt develops and manufactures radar systems for the purposes of surveillance, reconnaissance, air traffic control and air defence. These radars are used on such platforms as the Eurofighter, the German Navy’s F125 frigates and the US Navy’s littoral combat ships and ground-based systems. In September 2017, Hensoldt acquired the British radar manufacturer Kelvin Hughes from the private equity firm ECI.[17][18]

Ground based air defense sensors include TRML-3D[19] and TRML-4D[20][21][22] active radar and TwInvis [de] passive radar.[23][24] Hensoldt claims to have detected two F-35 fighter jets as they were leaving from the ILA Berlin Air Show in 2018 with their passive TwInvis radar system.[25][26] Naval air defense radars include TRS-3D [de][27] and TRS-4D in fixed panel[28] and rotator[29] variants.


Hensoldt manufactures optical and optronic devices for military and civil security applications. The main components of these devices are daylight cameras, thermal imagers, image intensifiers and laser rangefinders. The systems are used on various platforms for air, ground, sea and space missions as well as for the protection of infrastructures and borderlands.[30] The optronic systems are used on board the Puma infantry fighting vehicle, Leopard main battle tank, 212 and 209 type submarines,[31] Gripen and Rafale combat aircraft, AHRLAC reconnaissance aircraft, Baykar TB2 UAV, the Camcopter, Diamond DA42, and the EDRS-A satellite. In addition to this, Hensoldt also manufactures sights, targeting optics and optical systems deployed in the Leopard 2 main battle tank, PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer, NH90 and Tiger transport and combat helicopters, as well as in the “Future Soldier” programme for modernizing the infantry of the “Bundeswehr”, the German Armed Forces.[32]


The main system manufactured is the Sferion Pilot Assistance system, which allows for safe flight operations in a degraded visual environment.[33] Products also include situational awareness systems, military mission computers and flight data recorders for helicopters and fighter aircraft. The company has set up the air traffic control network of the German Air Force, covering an airspace of 1,700 x 1,500 kilometres, by equipping airports used by the air force with ASR-S surveillance radar.[34] Further air traffic control radars by Hensoldt are under contract for Great Britain, Australia and Canada.[35] In August 2017, Hensoldt acquired the German based company EuroAvionics GmbH, a supplier of civil avionics systems for helicopters and UAVs.[14]

Electronic warfare[edit]

Hensoldt's product portfolio for electronic warfare includes 'Kalaetron' family of airborne electronic warfare system, including "Kalaetron Attack" aimed at jamming enemy radars.[36] The company is also a manufacturer of systems for acquiring and analysing radar and radio signals as well as equipments which offer protection for convoys and individual vehicles from attacks by improvised explosive devices (IED).[37] The company developed MUSS, an operational electronic self-protection system for armored vehicles, which is integrated into the German Armed Forces’ Puma infantry fighting vehicle.[38][39]


In October 2018, the German government imposed a ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia, citing the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi.[40][41] However, in September 2022, reports revealed that despite the government embargo, Hensoldt continued to sell arms to the Arab nation. In 2019, the firm indulged in a deal for the establishment of a joint venture with the Kingdom’s state-owned arms manufacturer, Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI). The German firm also used its subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, France and South Africa to continue supplying arms to Riyadh, as the foreign branches were not subjected to the German arms embargo. In 2020, Saudi required radars for its border with Yemen, where the United Arab Emirates and Saudi-led coalition were waging a deadly war. While hundreds of thousands of people, including civilians, died in the Yemen war, Hensoldt’s boards members were in talks to win the contract. Moreover, Hensoldt had been acting as a subcontractor, supplying components to Spanish and French manufacturers, who continued the arms exports to Saudi Arabia.[42]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Hensoldt (2022). "HENSOLDT 2021 Annual Report" (PDF).
  2. ^ Clinch, Matt (2020-09-25). "Shares of KKR-owned defense firm slide on market debut in Frankfurt". CNBC. Retrieved 2020-09-30.
  3. ^ "Airbus Group To Sell Defence Electronics To KKR for € 1.1bn" (Press release). Airbus Group. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  4. ^ "New European defence company HENSOLDT launched" (Press release). Hensoldt. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Airbus completes divestment of Defense Electronics unit to KKR". www.reuters.com. Reuters. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  6. ^ a b Arno Schuetze and Sabine Siebold (September 5, 2019), KKR to sell or float German defence supplier Hensoldt: sources Reuters.
  7. ^ "News Detail | HENSOLDT".
  8. ^ Porezag, Karsten (2001). Hensoldt. Geschichte eines optischen Werkes in Wetzlar. Band 1: Familien- und Gründungsgeschichte bis 1903 (in German). Wetzlar: Karsten Porezag.
  9. ^ Leinhos, Roland (1969). "Hensoldt, Moritz" in: Neue Deutsche Biographie 8 (in German). p. 565.
  10. ^ Devika Nair and Disha Mishra (5 December 2023), Hensoldt acquires ESG Elektroniksystem in $728 million deal Reuters.
  11. ^ a b "New Defence Champion HENSOLDT to be given Holding Structure" (Press release). Hensoldt. 15 March 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  12. ^ "HENSOLDT grows industrial footprint in the UK" (Press release). Hensoldt. 9 September 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  13. ^ "HENSOLDT acquires NEXEYA activities" (Press release). Hensoldt. 7 October 2019. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  14. ^ a b Anderson, Guy (17 August 2017). "Hensoldt completes EuroAvionics deal". IHS Jane's. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  15. ^ "HENSOLDT expands Asia-Pacific Business" (Press release). Hensoldt. 10 October 2019. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  16. ^ Selinger, Marc (9 September 2019). "Hensoldt launches new South African unit". IHS Jane's. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  17. ^ "HENSOLDT acquires radar company Kelvin Hughes" (Press release). Hensoldt. 30 June 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  18. ^ MacDonald, Andrew (29 September 2017). "Hensoldt completes Kelvin Hughes acquisition". IHS Jane's. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  19. ^ "TRML-3D/32 - Mobile Air Surveillance and Defence Radar | HENSOLDT".
  20. ^ "TRML-4D - Multi-Functional Air Surveillance and Target Acquisition Radar System | HENSOLDT".
  21. ^ "Hensoldt presenting TRML- 4D multi-function air surveillance and target acquisition radar | Defense News May 2021 Global Security army industry | Defense Security global news industry army year 2021 | Archive News year".
  22. ^ "HENSOLDT presents new ground-based Air Defence Radar". 19 June 2018.
  23. ^ https://www.hensoldt.net/stories/twinvis-passive-radar>
  24. ^ "Twinvis Passive Radar for Ground Based Air Defence | HENSOLDT".
  25. ^ Sprenger, Sebastian (2019-10-01). "Stealthy no more? A German radar vendor says it tracked the F-35 jet in 2018 — from a pony farm". C4ISRNET. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  26. ^ Mizokami, Kyle (2019-09-30). "Can This New Radar System Track the Stealthy F-35?". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  27. ^ "TRS-3D - Naval 3D Multi-Mode Surveillance and Target Acquisition Radar | HENSOLDT".
  28. ^ "TRS-4D Fixed Panel - Multi-function surveillance and target acquisition radar | HENSOLDT".
  29. ^ "TRS-4D Rotator - Multi-function surveillance and target acquisition radar | HENSOLDT".
  30. ^ Tomkins, Richard (26 February 2015). "ME country orders surveillance gear for its borders". www.upi.com. UPI. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  31. ^ "Optronic Technologies and Products". www.naval-technology.com. Kable Intelligence Limited. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  32. ^ "Hensoldt to supply optical units to Germany". www.shephardmedia.com. Shephard Media. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  33. ^ "Airbus evaluates Sferion helicopter pilot assistance system". www.army-technology.com. Army Technology. 17 August 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  34. ^ "Airbus DS EBS delivers High-Performance Radar to the German Armed Forces" (Press release). Hensoldt. 24 October 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  35. ^ "Hensoldt to equip RCAF's military airfields with new radar systems". www.airforce-technology.com. Air Force Technology. 8 March 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  36. ^ "HENSOLDT develops jamming system to neutralise enemy air defences" (Press release). Hensoldt. 26 April 2022.
  37. ^ Martin, Guy (9 November 2017). "Feature: Cyber and electronic warfare an increasing global challenge". www.defenceweb.co.za. Defence Web. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  38. ^ "Multifunction Self Protection System (MUSS)". www.defense-update.com. Defense Update. 15 August 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  39. ^ ""Puma" self-protection equipment on track" (Press release). Hensoldt. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.[permanent dead link]
  40. ^ "Angela Merkel puts on hold arms sales to Saudi Arabia". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  41. ^ "Germany extends ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  42. ^ "Saudi Arabia: The Double Game of a European Arms Giant". Mediapart. Retrieved 9 September 2022.

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