There is no universally recognised definition for the term "controversial weapon", which may encompass different types of weapons depending on the culture and type of entities defining it, whether international agencies, non-government organisations, financial organisations, companies, etc.
The definition also varies across countries and even within Europe.
For Thales, "controversial" weapons are weapons banned by current treaties recognised by France and the European Union.
Thales thus does not design, manufacture or sell chemical or biological weapons, which are banned by the Geneva Conventions.
Additionally, in accordance with the Ottawa Convention on anti-personnel landmines (1997) and the Oslo Convention on cluster munitions (2008), Thales does not design, manufacture or sell any of these weapons or their component parts.
International treaties do not ban the use of white phosphorus in weapons. However, because of its characteristics and dangerous nature, white phosphorus is often categorised as a "controversial" weapon by NGOs and financial organisations.
Currently, Thales only uses white phosphorus to make smoke projectiles designed to detonate on the ground. . Thales does not make incendiary weapons.
However, for safety reasons and because of the controversy surrounding this highly flammable substance, Thales in 2018 launched an expansive research programme with the aim of developing a new generation of smoke rounds that do not use white phosphorus.
Even before this research programme produces results, Thales has undertaken not to make or sell materials containing white phosphorus beyond the middle of 2022.
For more information, please contact us.