December 21, 2011 / 1:20 PM / 6 years ago

Safran CEO sees potential in avionics tie-up

PARIS, Dec 21 (Reuters) - A further tie-up between French state-controlled aerospace companies Safran and Thales would only have potential if it covered the broad field of avionics, the chief executive of Safran said on Wednesday.

His comments came a day after the two groups announced a provisional deal to set up a joint venture in optronics, ditching earlier attempts to agree a more ambitious asset swap urged on them by the French government.

Left out of the deal was a previously discussed partnership in inertial navigation, which allows an aircraft to guide itself automatically, but Safran CEO Jean-Paul Herteman told a French parliamentary committee this would make more sense as part of a broader tie-up in avionics.

“My personal belief...is that the relevant field where new partnerships would have potential is not just in the field of inertial navigation...(but) in a broader category that we call avionics,” he said. (Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer; Writing by Lionel Laurent; Editing by James Regan)

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