Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft launches on an Antares rocket at 4:01 a.m. EST Nov. 17, 2018, from the Virginia Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Northrop Grumman's 10th contracted cargo resupply
Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft launches on an Antares rocket at 4:01 a.m. EST Nov. 17, 2018, from the Virginia Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Northrop Grumman's 10th contracted cargo resupply mission for NASA to the International Space Station will deliver about 7,400 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew. NASA/Joel Kowsky

In a major boost to the local manufacturing, French aerospace and defence contractor Thales has announced that the company will set up an Engineering Competence Centre in Bengaluru by early 2019.

Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, Thales VP and country director, India, told The Times of India that the Bengaluru based-centre will provide hardware and software capabilities for the civil and defence sectors.

Thales is a French headquartered multinational company that designs systems and provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets. The company has an ambitious plan of hiring around 2,000 people in its Bengaluru centre in the next 3-5 years.

Most of the jobs would demand high-end engineering and software skills. Presently, Thales already has around 1,500 people in its India operations, both directly and indirectly through its supply chain. The company aims to take this number to 5,000 in its latest expansion plans.

In a statement, the company said that "India's first-of-a-kind ECC will work on high value-added software domains such as air traffic management, in-flight connectivity & entertainment, complex avionics systems, cockpit & flight management systems, radar software's and advanced hardware technologies such as radio frequency/ designs for radars and communications."

Despite fears of monopoly in the European market, Thales has got regulatory approval from the European Union for its $5.6 billion acquisition of Netherlands-based Gemalto, a digital security company.

Gemalto is a major technology company and have offices across Gurgaon that employ around 1,000 people. Moreover, it also has a 15,000-strong workforce worldwide. The French-based Thales is on taking over spree as it also acquired Guavus, a US-based firm that deals with real-time big data processing and analytics. The deal was closed at around $215 million.

Roquefeuil said that "Guavus in India has a strong foothold in artificial intelligence and big data analytics. Overall we've spent close to $7 billion on acquisitions the last year."