AVON Communications is one of the key operators in France for design, maintenance, installation and integration of navigation systems and on board communication network, on commercial, naval vessels and mega yachts. It is also in the military industry, a preferred partner of main French industrials and integrators.
The Company is located in the key harbors of its businesses in France: Marseille, Le Havre and Brest. With field engineers, software specialists and developers, the company on 24 hours, 7 days a week, offers technical support and expertise in France and worldwide for marine electronics on board ships and shore based installation. To ensure this, Avon Communications S.A. has signed Joint Ventures with relevant companies to give local support to clients.
Founded in 1994 in Marseilles, France, by Robert and Pascal AVON, President and Vice President, AVON Communications has a local activity already based on maintenance, on leisure boats, merchant and fishing vessels.
In 1996, KODEN Electronics (Japan) appoints AVON as agent of their products. AVON starts to develop its sales and technical business nationwide.
In 1998, DECCA radars (today Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine), selects AVON to develop sales and gives support to French navy and commercial ship owners. It is the beginning of a strong partnership with several industrials of the naval sector, like DCN (today NAVAL GROUP) and Thales.
AVON supplies navigation radars to DCNS and the French Navy. AVON is involved in the SAWARI (Saudi Arabia) and Bravo (Taiwan) Programs to supply and integrate navigation radars. In that frame, new services are offered: logistic support and training to Navies.
On the commercial side, in the meantime, AVON settles an office in Le Havre, then Brest (France). Strong relationships are established on technical support basis 7 days a week, on 24 hours with main French ship owners: CMA-CGM, Compagnie Maritime Nantaise, SNCM, Louis Dreyfus …etc, and foreign companies.
Service and Technical support in Marine Electronics…
Organized with human resources offering a nationwide capability, AVON Communication is the partner of several manufacturers, crew and end-users, in the frame of technical support agreements.
Originally focused exclusively on support for Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine group, the merge of DECCA, C PLATH and Sperry, AVON is today also a privileged support partner for companies like Thrane & Thrane, KVH and SAAB.
In 2001, Sperry Marine selects AVON to design and install a complete IBS on board of the “Surveillance Frigate”, built in Saint Nazaire (Aker Yard) for the Royal Moroccan Navy. Other IBS will follow on commercial and military ships, in France and abroad, like the 12 patrol boats built by OCEA of Saint Nazaire for Kuwaiti Coast Guards. AVON is also one the first company to install VDR in France (from DANELEC), and to be appointed by the Bureau Veritas as an expert for data recoveries in case of incidents.
In 2005, AVON is selected by the French Navy to replace the navigation radars on board of the “Francis Garnier” in Fort de France (FWI). This will begin a direct cooperation between AVON and the French Navy, with several modernization, installation and maintenance operation on board of ships and costal facilities.
In the meantime AVON develops the inland river, a sector with a significant growth.
In 2007, AVON is selected by Maritime Nantaise to support Combat System and specially radars, navigation and communication equipment on board of the Frigate “Germinal”. To modernize the Radar Tactical Console on board, AVON designed and developed a new generation system: the SETIM. SETIM is a Tactical Console design with COTS equipment for the radar and a computerized tactical application designs and develops by AVON. The later on real time assists the Operator and control guns and optical systems. The installation and setting to work took only 3 months, and the system is “proven at sea” on April 2007.
This system is scheduled to replace all systems equivalent on other frigates and ships of the French Navy.
On January 2007, AVON is selected by the French Navy to design and install a new Protection System against sea intruders for the nuclear submarine base of « Ile Longue », near Brest, France.
The Tactical System controls several sensors such as radar and infrared cameras (from FLIR Systems), and offer a synthetic view of the situation. It also assists the Operator in the decision process for the maritime protection of the base. Today in service, the System is fully developed by AVON software engineers on modules base, with and easy capability to welcome new sensors on multiple environments. It can be adapted easily to any situation.
In 2008-2009 the Company has been selected by DCNS/Thales to realize the radar modernization on “SAWARI ONE” (four frigates) and two tankers in Saudi Arabia. AVON installed Navigation and helicopter Radars, interfaced them to the Combat System and proposes a Target Designation Console.
In France, since January 2008, AVON maintains the availability to be on service of the Coastal Radars chain. First maintenance contract dedicated to radars, which is externalized to a private company, it is 42 sites to maintain 7 days a week, on 24 hours. AVON based on its commercial support activity, offered to the French Navy a total support.
Developments of AIS and radars based solutions are realized and installed to collect these data. Systems are in operation in Djibouti, Toulon and French Guyana for Coastal Surveillance operation.
In 2009 AVON in partnership with DCNS installed and interfaced a FLIR VOYAGER camera with DCNS Tactical System POLARIS on “JEANNE D’ARC” and “PM L’HER”. In March 2010, a SEA FLIR camera is installed on board of the “FLF GUEPRATTE” in interfaced with a SETIM radar console on the Bridge.
In 2010, a new version of Data Distribution Unit developed by AVON is selected by THALES and the Colombian Navy for the PADILLA class frigates. The DDU collects the sensors information and broadcasts them to on board systems and equipment.
With the DDU, AVON has performed a complete overhaul of the navigation and communication equipment’s. it that frame, the company has installed Vertical gyro compass from SAGEM, SIGMA 40 type.
In 2011, AVON with SIGNALIS (EADS) installed and modernized the Information System, radar and AIS in the 60 coastal stations of the French Navy. AVON Communications is certified ISO 9001 -2000.
In 2012, the company has modernized radar system on board of the P37 “Goha” class from Kuwait. The mission was including navigation data connection to sub-systems and synchro interfaces to the CMS and surface radar.
In 2013, AVON has designed and built the AVUE radar console, which is the complement to the THALES SCOUT radar. The AVUE can also replace old radar consoles for retrofit of surface radar interface to CMS.
AVON has supported the Peruvian Navy in integration of IMU for submarines and supply interface for synchro outputs to CMS.
In 2014, AVON has partnership with a local company in Venezuela to install s Ship machinery and damage control system designed by it engineer and co-realize between Venezuela and France. This system will be operation for mid-2015.
Indeed AVON has been granted in France the design and integration of several Integrated Bridge systems (Sperry Marine and Kelvin Hughes) for new French navy ships “B2M” and “PLG” class. These ships will be in service in the French navy in the years 2017. In addition AVON has designed and manufacture for the “PLG” Tactical communication suite for internal and external communication control.
The company in 2014 has also launched a new department in Entertainment and IP on board ship, being granted a first contract of a 90 m yachts in south of France.
In 2014, the company was 8 million Euros turn over, whose 60 % was made outside France.