Thales is a World Leader in the Research, Design and Manufacture of Advanced Fuzing and Sensors for Guided Weapon Systems Operating in the Air-to-Air, Air-to-Ground, Anti-Surface and Anti-Armour Domains

We continually invest in global solutions that enhance accessibility to world markets by partnering with companies that offer considerable expertise and experience in their chosen field of operation

Issue 83

Introduction to Thales UK Missile Electronics Capability

Thales has a long pedigree in designing and manufacturing bomb and missile fuzes and sensors for complex environments and challenging target sets. We have been at the forefront of advanced fuzing sensor technology for over 70 years; our products are battle-proven, used worldwide and continue to be selected by leading armed forces. Thales prides itself on its proven reliability and team  work  which  is  reflected in our long term partnerships with customers who  continually  return to us for development and support of  their  latest  weapon  systems. We are very proud that we remain the UK Ministry of Defence fuze supplier of choice for hard target fuzes and the primary provider of proximity sensor systems. 

Advanced Solutions with Five Main Themes

Exportable:  Thales solutions have significant interest in export markets. Our Fuzing capability know how delivers products that are attractive in local, regional and international markets. 

Affordable:  A key design driver is delivering competitively priced products with significant local manufacture, ensuring affordable and supportable solutions. 

Combat Proven:  Thales is a world leader in the fuzing market and has a pedigree of producing highly reliable products capable of targeting the most difficult environments. Over many years Thales fuzes and proximity sensors have continued supporting the leading defence forces of the world. 

Low Risk:  Our products significantly reduce programme risk by meeting the needs of the customer. Experienced in local manufacture globally with a proven network, Thales has the key skills required to establish the volume manufacturing process on time and to budget. 

ITAR-Free:  Thales has a long history of developing fully ITAR-free solutions to meet end customer needs.  Thales has all the necessary skills, knowledge and technology required to deliver ITAR-free, highly exportable solutions to customers.

Technology Transfer Beyond Manufacture 

Our design team has significant experience in designing for transfer and local manufacturing.  Our extensive expertise in fuzing and sensors for guided weapon systems enables Thales to support transfer beyond manufacturing alone; for example providing significant transfer of knowledge regarding trials planning and weapon level qualification conducted with local test houses.

Global Manufacturing Solution

Thales understands the requirement for low risk and value for money from weapon system projects by providing maximum local content in the country of destination; for example, complete manufacture and all testing is able to take place locally.  Thales solutions are adaptable to leverage local manufacturing knowledge to ensure the establishment of highly efficient and profitable production lines. Tooling requirements are developed and proven during the development phase with Thales leveraging its existing experience and jigs already in use to deliver reduced risk and cost to projects. The utilisation of local supplier networks is maximised; for example, to supply electronic assemblies and machined parts, etc.

Serial production line solutions draw on Thales experience and its proven manufacturing facilities in Glasgow, UK and Clarksburg, USA

These facilities and workforce are capable of producing a number of different fuze types in parallel, including proximity fuze and safe and arming units. We are therefore able to exploit the synergies in fuze production and support local requirements by the transfer of:


Personnel skills and training 

Production control 

Quality systems 


Environmental testing 

Engineering laboratories 

Supply chain logistics

Thales manufacturing processes are designed with a lean approach with dedicated leads for process improvements and a growing pool of Lean Sigma Belt practitioners driving improvement. Thales approach to support partners through specific manufacturing process improvement that is offered to maintain confidence and drive continuous improvement, both of which are key for serial production over a number of years to ensure maximum benefits are passed to partners. 

Thales has developed technology, processes and procedures to manufacture fuzing systems over the last 25 years. Currently, Thales has full-scale manufacture of a number of fuzing systems, some of which have been produced in quantities in excess of 50,000. Thales has significant experience in transferring product technology and manufacturing across the globe including Eurasia, the Middle East, United States and Europe and has successfully transferred production lines in a number of these regions.

Thales is a world leader in hard target fuzing and proximity sensor technology. Thales has years of experience in supplying a variety of guided weapon fuzes and sensor technology to a number of customers including governments and international prime contractors. 

This broad customer base has allowed us to develop cost effective technical and production capabilities that are modular, modern and adaptable to meet the most demanding of project requirements.