Thales Boosts Avionics Portfolio with $1.1 Billion Cobham Aerospace Communications Buy

Cobham’s New Audio Management System NG. Image – Cobham

Thales has entered exclusive negotiations to acquire Cobham Aerospace Communications (AeroComms) for $1.1 billion.

AeroComms designs, produces, and supports a portfolio of avionics solutions focused on cockpit communications. Its product range includes full L-band satcom systems (antennas and transceivers), complete digital audio and radio management solutions, and passive antenna systems enabling connectivity, communications and navigation.

AeroComms employs 690 throughout facilities in France, South Africa, the USA, Canada, and Denmark. Annual sales are estimated at $200 million, with about 30 percent of that total related to defense.

“With the acquisition of Cobham Aerospace Communications and its highly skilled team of aerospace communications experts, and combined with our own critical avionics experts, Thales will establish a game changer in the very attractive and fast-growing communications and connectivity market to the benefit of a more sustainable aerospace future. By guaranteeing a cyber-secured, live connection between the cockpit and air traffic control, aircraft will be able to fly optimized trajectories in real-time, significantly reducing fuel consumption and, consequently, CO2 emissions in the next two to three years,” said Yannick Assouad, Thales Executive Vice-President Avionics.

According to Thales, by integrating AeroComms’ unique leading safety cockpit communication systems portfolio, the company will be ideally positioned to seize the opportunity of the shift toward connected cockpits. By the end of the decade, Thales will be able to fully address the permanent and secured connectivity needs of the aeronautical market. The enhanced portfolio will offer a variety of solutions, including:

* Real-time and cyber-secured air-to-ground services
* Increased operations’ efficiency (enabling eco-friendly/green flight, full spectrum cockpit connectivity)
* Better pilot assistance, paving the way to future autonomy solutions
* Reduced OEM installation burden, with integrated offers and reduced aircraft weight and drag (smart antenna)

The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2024 upon completion of the usual merger control and regulatory approvals.

About Richard Pettibone

A military history enthusiast, Richard began at Forecast International as editor of the World Weapons Weekly newsletter. As the Internet grew in importance as a research tool, he helped design the company's Forecast Intelligence Center and currently coordinates the EMarket Alert newsletters for clients. Richard also manages social media efforts, including two new blogs: Defense & Security Monitor, covering defense systems and international issues, and Flight Plan, which focuses on commercial aviation and space systems. For over 30 years, Richard has authored the Defense & Aerospace Companies, Volume I (North America) and Volume II (International) services. The two books provide detailed data on major aerospace and defense contractors. He also edits the International Contractors service, a database that tracks all the contractors involved in the programs covered in the FI library. More recently he was appointed Manager, Information Services Group (ISG), a new unit that encompasses developing outbound content for both Forecast International and Military Periscope.

View all posts by Richard Pettibone →