Thomson-CSF was a French company that specialized in the development and manufacture of electronics with a heavy focus on the aerospace and defense sectors of the market.
Thomson-CSF was formed in 1968 following the merge of Thomson-Houston-Hotchkiss-Brandt with the Compagnie Générale de Télégraphie Sans Fil (General Wireless Telegraphy Company, commonly abbreviated as CSF), these two companies being the source of the name Thomson-CSF. It operated as an electronics specialist on products such as broadcasting equipment, electroacoustics, shortwave radio sets, radar systems, and television. During the 1970s, the company diversified manufacturing backend telephony equipment, semiconductors, and medical imaging apparatus. It also began to strike major deals outside of the domestic market as well, acquiring considerable business from the Middle East.
During the late 1980s, Thomson-CSF, anticipating defense spending cutbacks, conducted a radical business restructuring, merging its semiconductor interests with those of the Italian defense group Finmeccanica and exchanging its medical imaging technology for General Electric's consumer electronics businesses. Towards the latter decades of its operations, Thomson-CFS built itself up into a multinational company. In 1989, Thomson-CSF acquired Philips' defense electronics business, Hollandse Signaalapparaten B.V. In 1999, the company was privatized; shortly thereafter, Thomson-CSF took over the British defense electronics company Racal Electronics. During December 2000, the business was rebranded Thales Group.