Safran S.A. is a French multinational aircraft engine, rocket engine, aerospace-component and defense 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. In 2018 Safran took control of Zodiac Aerospace, significantly expanding its aircraft equipment activities. Its headquarters are located in Paris. Employing over 91,000 people and generating 21.05 billion euros in sales in 2018, Safran operates in the aircraft propulsion and equipment, space and defense markets. The company is listed on the Euronext stock exchange and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices.[5]

Safran S.A.
Société Anonyme
Traded asEuronext: SAF
CAC 40 Component
Founded2005 (2005)
Key people
Philippe Petitcolin (CEO)
Ross McInnes (Chairman)[1][2]
ProductsRocket and aircraft engines and equipment, defence electronics, avionics, navigation system, communications systems, satellites
Revenue 21.05 billion (2018)
€3.02 billion (2018)
€1.98 billion (2018)
Total assets €40.62 billion (end 2018)[3]
Total equity €12.30 billion (End 2018)
Number of employees
91,000 (01/01/2019)[4]


The name Safran was chosen from 4,250 suggestions, including 1,750 proposed by employees.[6][7] As a holding company for many subsidiaries, the name was deemed suitable for the suggestion of direction, movement, and strategy. Safran translates as rudder blade and as saffron, which the company highlights as one of the catalysts for early international trade.[8]



In 1905 Louis Seguin created the company Gnome. Production of the first rotary engine for airplanes, the Gnome Omega, started in 1909. This company merged with the Le Rhône, a company created in 1912 by Louis Verdet, to form the Gnome et Rhône engine company. Gnome & Rhône was nationalized in 1945, creating Snecma. In 2000, this company gave its name to the “Snecma Group”, and carried out a number of acquisitions to form a larger group with an array of complementary businesses.

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 anonyme des télécommunications (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.

Safran Group

The Safran Group was created on May 11, 2005, with the merger of Snecma and Sagem SA.

In June 2014, Arianespace CEO Stephane Israel announced that European efforts to remain competitive in response to SpaceX's 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 and engine-producer Safran.[9]

By May 2015, Safran had created with Airbus Group a launcher joint venture called Airbus Safran Launchers.[10] This entity is currently developing the Ariane 6 launch vehicle for initial flights in the 2020s.[11]

In January 2017, Safran initiated a takeover of the aircraft interior supplier Zodiac Aerospace to create the third largest aerospace supplier with $22.5 billion revenue, behind United Technologies with $28.2 billion and GE Aviation with $24.7 billion; the new group will be 92,000-employee strong, with 48% of its business in aircraft systems and equipment, from landing gears to seats, 46% in propulsion and 6% in defense.[8]

In May 2017, Safran announced the completion of the sale of its identity and security activities to Advent International for Euro 2.4 billion.[12]

In February 2018, Safran took control of Zodiac Aerospace, significantly expanding its aircraft equipment activities. Zodiac Aerospace has 32,500 employees and generated sales of 5.1 billion euros for its fiscal year ended August 31, 2017.[5]

On June 4, 2018, Boeing and Safran announced their 50-50 partnership to design, build and service APUs after regulatory and antitrust clearance in the second-half of 2018.[5] This could threaten the dominance of Honeywell and United Technologies.[13]

Group organization

The Safran group is divided into three main branches:[14]

Aerospace propulsion

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).

  • Safran Aircraft Engines (formerly Snecma Moteurs)
    • Commercial & military engines, liquid propulsion for space launchers
  • Turbomeca
    • Turboshaft engines for helicopters
    • Jet engines for training and support aircraft
    • Turbines for missiles and drones (Microturbo subsidiary)
    • APU (Microturbo subsidiary). Safran provides APU systems since 1962.[5]
  • Herakles (formerly Snecma Propulsion Solide)
    • Solid rocket motors for launchers, strategic and tactical missiles
    • Thermostructural composite materials
  • Safran Aero Boosters
    • Components for aircraft and rocket engines

At the October 2018 NBAA convention, Safran presented its ENGINeUS electric motor range up to 500 kW (670 hp) designed for electric aircraft, starting with a 45 kW (60 hp) one with integrated control electronics, with an energy efficiency of over 94% and a power-to-weight ratio of 2.5 kW / kg at 2,500rpm and 172 N⋅m (127 lbf⋅ft) of torque, for a 18 kg (40 lb) weight with the controller, 12 kg (26 lb) without.[15] Flight-testing may happen in 2019 or 2020.[16]

Other subsidiaries

  • Cenco
  • Smartec
  • SMA Engines
  • Snecma Services Brussels
  • Snecma Suzhou
  • Snecma Xinyi Airfoil Castings

Aircraft equipment

The aircraft equipment branch groups all design, production, sales, and support operations for systems and equipment used by civil and military airplanes and helicopters.

  • Safran Landing Systems
    • Landing gear design, manufacture, and support
    • Wheels and carbon brakes for mainline commercial jets
    • Braking control and hydraulic systems
  • Safran Nacelles
  • Safran Electrical & Power (formerly Labinal Power Systems)
    • Aircraft wiring and power distribution
  • Hispano-Suiza
    • Mechanical, hydraulic, electronic and electrical equipment
  • Safran Engineering Services
    • Engineering and consulting company
  • Technofan
    • Fan designer and manufacturer[17]

Other subsidiaries

  • Cinch Connectors - sold to Bel Fuse, no longer part of Safran
  • Globe Motors
  • SLCA
  • Sofrance
  • Technofan Inc.


The defense 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.

  • Sagem
    • Technologies and services in optronics, avionics, electronics and safety-critical software

Other subsidiaries


Corporate affairs

Financial information

Year 2006 2007
Sales (M) 11,329 12,003
Net income, Group share (M€) 177 406
Cash flow (M€) 1,003 1,221
Self-financed R&D (M€) 334 401

Shareholder profile

As of 28 February 2018[19]

The biggest change in Safran's shareholder profile is the increase in publicly held shares (from 36.9% in 2008 to 54.1% in 2012).[20]

See also


  1. "Un tandem très expérimenté à la tête de Safran". Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  2. "REFILE-UPDATE 1-Safran taps Petitcolin as next CEO, McInnes as chairman". 5 December 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2017 via Reuters.
  3. "Safran : Very strong 2018 performance - Further growth and profitability improvement in 2019". Safran. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  4. "#HappyNewYear2019 from Safran's 91,000 employees". Safran. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  5. "Boeing, Safran Agree to Design, Build and Service Auxiliary Power Units" (Press release). June 4, 2018. Safran, Boeing
  6. "Sagem et Snecma donnent naissance à " Safran "". Les Echos (in French). 2005-03-21. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  7. "Snecma and Sagem Merge, Changing Name to Safran". Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  8. Thierry Dubois and Jens Flottau (Jan 20, 2017). "Tier 1 Consolidation Continues As Safran Takes Over Zodiac". Aviation Week & Space Technology.
  9. Abbugao, Martin (2014-06-18). "European satellite chief says industry faces challenges". Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  10. de Selding, Peter B. (2015-05-29). "Airbus Safran Agrees to $440 Million Ariane 6 Contribution". Space News. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  11. de Selding, Peter B. (2015-04-03). "Desire for Competitive Ariane 6 Nudges ESA Toward Compromise in Funding Dispute with Contractor". Space News. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  12. "Completion of the sale of Safran's identity and security activities" (Press release). Safran. 31 May 2017.
  13. Stephen Trimble (June 4, 2018). "Boeing and Safran partner to disrupt APU market". Flightglobal.
  14. "Group | Safran". 2011-04-13. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  15. "Safran unveils an electric motor from its ENGINeUS range, designed for future hybrid and electric aircraft" (Press release). Safran. October 15, 2018.
  16. Max Kingsley Jones (17 Oct 2018). "NBAA: Safran shows off electric power technology". flightglobal.
  17. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-12-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. "ESO Signs Contract for Deformable Shell Mirrors for E-ELT". Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  19. "2017 Registration Document". Safran. 3 April 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  20. "2012 Key Figures". Safran Group. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
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