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Hensoldt Holding GmbH
Industry Defence, electronics, aerospace
Predecessor Airbus DS Electronics and Border Security
Founded February 28, 2017; 19 months ago (2017-02-28)
Headquarters Taufkirchen, Munich, Upper Bavaria, Bavaria, Germany
Area served
Key people
Thomas Müller (CEO)
Products Electronic equipment, avionics, radars, telecommunications equipment, software
Revenue 1 billion[1]
Owner KKR & Co. L.P.
Number of employees
Parent KKR & Co. L.P.
Website www.hensoldt.net

Hensoldt is a multinational corporation headquartered in Germany which focuses on sensor technologies for protection and surveillance missions in the defence, security and aerospace sectors. The main product areas are radar, optoelectronics and avionics. Hensoldt’s main office is in Taufkirchen near Munich, Germany.


The company originated from the electronics business unit of the defence division of the Airbus Group. At the end of February 2017, Airbus sold this business unit to the US financial investor KKR.[2][3][4] Since then the company has been known as Hensoldt. The company’s name can be traced back to Moritz Carl Hensoldt (1821-1903), a German pioneer of optics and precision mechanics in the 19th century. In 1852, he founded an optical workshop for telescopes, astronomical equipment and microscopes.[5][6]

Corporate Structure

The Hensoldt Group’s holding structure includes the following direct and indirect operating subsidiaries (as of November 2017):

  • Hensoldt Sensors GmbH, Taufkirchen, Germany[7]
  • Hensoldt Optronics GmbH, Oberkochen, Germany[7]
  • Hensoldt Optronics (Pty) Ltd., Irene, South Africa
  • GEW Technologies (Pty) Ltd., Pretoria, South Africa
  • EuroAvionics Holding GmbH, Pforzheim, Germany[8]
  • Hensoldt Pvt Ltd, Bengaluru, India
  • Kelvin Hughes Ltd., Enfield, United Kingdom[9][10]

The shares of Hensoldt Holding GmbH are held by KKR. The Federal Republic of Germany holds a minimum share.

Product Areas


Hensoldt develops and manufactures radar systems for the purposes of surveillance, reconnaissance, air traffic control and air defence. These radars are used on such platforms as the Eurofighter, the German Navy’s F125 frigates and the US Navy’s littoral combat ships and ground-based systems. In September 2017, Hensoldt acquired the British radar manufacturer Kelvin Hughes from the private equity firm ECI.[9]


Hensoldt manufactures optical and optronic devices for military and civil security applications. The main components of these devices are daylight cameras, thermal imagers, image intensifiers and laser rangefinders. The systems are used on various platforms for air, ground, sea and space missions as well as for the protection of infrastructures and borderlands.[11] The optronic systems are used on board the Puma infantry fighting vehicle, Leopard main battle tank, 212 and 209 type submarines,[12] Gripen and Rafale combat aircraft, AHRLAC reconnaissance aircraft, Baykar TB2 UAV, the Camcopter, Diamond DA42, and the EDRS-A satellite. In addition to this, Hensoldt also manufactures sights, targeting optics and optical systems deployed in the Leopard 2 main battle tank, PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer, NH90 and Tiger transport and combat helicopters, as well as in the “Future Soldier” programme for modernizing the infantry of the “Bundeswehr”, the German Armed Forces.[13]


The main system maufactered is the Sferion Pilot Assistance system, which allows for safe flight operations in a degraded visual environment.[14] Products also include situational awareness systems, military mission computers and flight data recorders for helicopters and fighter aircraft. The company has set up the air traffic control network of the German Air Force, covering an airspace of 1,700 x 1,500 kilometres, by equipping airports used by the air force with ASR-S surveillance radar.[15] Further air traffic control radars by Hensoldt are under contract for Great Britain, Australia and Canada.[16]In August 2017, Hensoldt acquired the German based company EuroAvionics GmbH, a supplier of civil avionics systems for helicopters and UAVs.[8]

Electronic warfare

The company is a manufacturer of systems for acquiring and analysing radar and radio signals as well as equipments which offer protection for convoys and individual vehicles from attacks by improvised explosive devices (IED).[17] The company developed MUSS, an operational electronic self-protection system for armored vehicles, which is integrated into the German Armed Forces’ Puma infantry fighting vehicle.[18][19]


  1. ^ a b Hensoldt. "Our Company - HENSOLDT".
  2. ^ "Airbus Group To Sell Defence Electronics To KKR for € 1.1bn" (Press release). Airbus Group. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  3. ^ "New European defence company HENSOLDT launched" (Press release). Hensoldt. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  4. ^ Staff, Reuters (28 February 2017). "Airbus completes divestment of Defense Electronics unit to KKR". www.reuters.com. Reuters. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  5. ^ Porezag, Karsten (2001). Hensoldt. Geschichte eines optischen Werkes in Wetzlar. Band 1: Familien- und Gründungsgeschichte bis 1903 (in German). Wetzlar: Karsten Porezag.
  6. ^ Leinhos, Roland (1969). "Hensoldt, Moritz" in: Neue Deutsche Biographie 8 (in German). p. 565.
  7. ^ a b "New Defence Champion HENSOLDT to be given Holding Structure" (Press release). Hensoldt. 15 March 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  8. ^ a b Anderson, Guy (17 August 2017). "Hensoldt completes EuroAvionics deal". IHS Jane's. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  9. ^ a b "HENSOLDT acquires radar company Kelvin Hughes" (Press release). Hensoldt. 30 June 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  10. ^ MacDonald, Andrew (29 September 2017). "Hensoldt completes Kelvin Hughes acquisition". IHS Jane's. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  11. ^ Tomkins, Richard (26 February 2015). "ME country orders surveillance gear for its borders". www.upi.com. UPI. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Optronic Technologies and Products". www.naval-technology.com. Kable Intelligence Limited. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Hensoldt to supply optical units to Germany". www.shephardmedia.com. Shephard Media. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Airbus evaluates Sferion helicopter pilot assistance system". www.army-technology.com. Army Technology. 17 August 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Airbus DS EBS delivers High-Performance Radar to the German Armed Forces" (Press release). Hensoldt. 24 October 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Hensoldt to equip RCAF's military airfields with new radar systems". www.airforce-technology.com. Air Force Technology. 8 March 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  17. ^ Martin, Guy (9 November 2017). "Feature: Cyber and electronic warfare an increasing global challenge". www.defenceweb.co.za. Defence Web. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Multifunction Self Protection System (MUSS)". www.defense-update.com. Defense Update. 15 August 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  19. ^ ""Puma" self-protection equipment on track" (Press release). Hensoldt. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.

External links

  • Official website
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