We participate since 1996 with a stand in the Swiss Pavilion in the largest European Defence Exhibition, EUROSATORY, which takes place every second year in Paris. Initially, the French Army only placed small scale orders, mainly for mine clearing units, using our Swiss Tool.
At the Eurosatory and through publications in Defence Magazines, we created the interest of French defence industry giants SAGEM who were awarded by the French Army with the development of a completely new, highly sophisticated infanterist equipment. The program is called FELIN which stands for Fantassin à Equipments et Liaison Intégrés. (see www.army-technology.com/projects/felin)
A multipurpose plier tool had to become part of this program and SAGEM has selected a variety of products of different suppliers to be tested and compared.
SAGEM decided that the black oxidized Swiss Tool, which we already sell to the Norwegian Army (since 1998) and Australia (since 2001) is matching best with their requirement. They further decided that each tool shall be equipped with an explosive cap crimper in order not to issue a different tool for those soldiers involved in pyrotechnical works.
After a first test series, we delivered the first official quantity in 2008. Presently we are working with our French representatives Waldmann SA and SAGEM on a "contract cadre" for the delivery of the first 6'000 units. The French Army does foresee to equip approx 30'000 soldiers with this high tech equipment with a cost of various 10'000 SFr each ! Other Nato Armies, for instance also the Italian, are orienting themselves at the FELIN program. So the order with the French army might be groundbreaking for our efforts in other countries too.