Sagem Avionics Bows In at Helicopter Show

 - March 30, 2007, 7:39 AM

The merger of two small avionics firms, Sfim and Arnav, has led to the creation of Sagem Avionics, a Grand Prairie, Texas-based company with about 50 employees and a line of specialty equipment ranging from autopilots and flight-data acquisition units to satcom systems and glass displays for experimental-category aircraft. The parent company of the newly formed entity is European communication, defense and security conglomerate Sagem, a $3 billion technology giant based in Paris. Executives from Arnav and Sagem subsidiary Sfim first began working together about a year ago as part of a team developing a glass cockpit and digital flight control system for the Erickson Air-Crane S-64 Helitanker. At the time, Arnav’s business was sagging from about $5 million in annual sales before 9/11 to $2 million last year, prompting the companies to enter discussions about a merger. The deal closed on March 12, and it was announced last month during a champagne ceremony at Heli-Expo in Las Vegas.