Cannons and salespeople
Leclerc main battle tank
THL-20 helicopter gun turret

Nexter (formerly known as GIAT Industries or Groupement des Industries de l'Armée de Terre, Army Industries Group) is a French government-owned weapons manufacturer.



Nexter manufactures various weapons and other hardware for the French military and other militaries, including:


The GIAT group was founded in 1973 by combining the industrial assets of the technical direction of Army weapons of the French Ministry of Defense. The company was nationalized in 1991. On 22 September 2006 GIAT became the core of the new company Nexter.[1]

For many years GIAT struggled to turn a profit. The company was operated at a loss. A 2001 report by the Cour des Comptes[2] and a 2002 report by the National Assembly[3] described the situation as critical. Not until April 2004 did the board of directors present the public with a financial statement showing a profit of several hundred million Euros. This was mainly due to increased export sales, and the modernization of the Leclerc Main Battle Tank (MBT) and several other armored platforms.

In 2006, the THL-20 gun turret was selected by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for use on the HAL Light Combat Helicopter, incorporating the 20 mm M621 cannon.[4]

Nexter has a Joint Venture CTA International with BAE Systems to develop and manufacture case telescoped weapon systems and ammunition.

Nexter continues to produce several former GIAT small arms, cannon, and anti-armour weapons. One such weapon is the Wasp 58, a low cost, one man antiarmour/assault weapon system.


  1. ^ History of the Nexter company
  2. ^ Les industries d'armement : rapport au Président de la République suivis des réponses des administrations et des organismes concernés, Cour des Comptes, La Documentation Française, 2001
  3. ^ Rapport d'information déposé par la commission de la défense nationale et des forces armées sur la situation de Giat Industries, "Report from the defense and armed forces commission on the situation of Giat Industries", presented by Yves Fromion and Jean Diébold, French National Assembly, 2002
  4. ^ "Missile Mirage", Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 1, 2007.

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