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10 July 2024

Smiths Group, a leading industrial technology company, is proud to support the European Space Agency and ArianeGroup with the launch of the new Ariane 6 launcher on its inaugural flight from French Guiana on 9 July 2024. 

Several of Smiths Group’s businesses are providing critical components to Ariane 6, which will boost European space credentials by providing Europe with an independent path to orbit for its satellites following the retirement of its predecessor, Ariane 5, in 2023.

The Ariane 6 rocket incorporates hundreds of components developed and supplied by Flex-Tek, a Smiths Group business. These components primarily support the system conditioning functions of the rocket, with flexible piping transporting inert gases to protect and control electronic systems. They are critical to the rocket's performance and are installed on the main launcher, as well as the Upper and Lower Liquid Propulsion Modules, ensuring safe and efficient fluid transport across the rocket's propulsion stages. 

Smiths Interconnect is contributing to the launch through providing critical connectivity management components to ensure there is no signal integrity failure during the launch process. Smiths Interconnect’s connectors provide the highest reliability technology in harsh environments with high resistance to shock, vibration and temperature changes, maintaining the signal integrity in extremely high vibrating conditions.

Smiths Group is also supplying sieves for Ariane 6’s auxiliary power unit through its John Crane business. The sieves act as specialist filters and ensure the effective filtration of oxygen and hydrogen. They are built to withstand the extreme vibration and temperature changes involved with space travel. In addition, the development of Ariane 6's newly designed rocket engine has been supported by John Crane filters located on the engine test bench.

Roland Carter, Chief Executive Officer of Smiths Group, said: “We are proud to contribute to the important mission of the Ariane 6 space rocket. We have a long partnership with the European Space Agency and the ArianeGroup, and we are pleased to continue to serve them in the forthcoming launch. This work builds on our expertise in designing and manufacturing components used in many of the most significant missions in space.”

Dr. Nicolas Fries at ArianeGroup said: “Every piece of equipment for this kind of spacecraft needs to undergo a demanding qualification and acceptance programme. For the sieves this included vibration tests and functional performance tests. During the sieve development phase we had to combine the extensive sieve manufacturing expertise from John Crane with the space engineering know how of ArianeGroup. John Crane has proved to be a reliable supplier for such critical elements and we are looking forward to continue our cooperation.” 


About Smiths Group
For over 170 years, Smiths Group has been pioneering progress by improving our world through smarter engineering. We serve millions of people every year, to help create a safer, more efficient, and better-connected world, across four global markets: Energy, General Industry, Safety & Security, and Aerospace. Listed on the London Stock Exchange, Smiths employs more than 15,000 colleagues in over 50 countries. For more information visit

About John Crane
John Crane is a global leader in mission-critical technologies for the energy and process industries and an innovator in rotating equipment, encompassing mechanical seals, couplings, filtration systems and cutting-edge asset management and digital diagnostics solutions. Blending a rich legacy of innovation with a commitment to service excellence, we have enabled our customer’s reliable and sustainable operations for over a century. While recognizing the role of traditional energy, we are pioneering solutions that enable cleaner alternatives, crafting a vision for a sustainable energy future. Our extensive global presence underscores our promise to customers, with over 200 service centres in 50 countries. With more than £1 billion in revenues in 2023, we are an integral pillar of Smiths Group plc.

About Flex-Tek
Flex-Tek is a global provider of engineered components that heat and move liquids and gases for the aerospace, medical, industrial, construction and domestic appliance markets. Our flexible hosing and rigid tubing provide fluid management for fuel and hydraulic applications on commercial and military aircraft, deliver fuel gas and conditioned air in residential and commercial buildings, and provide respiratory care for medical applications. Flex-Tek heating elements and thermal systems improve the performance of medical and diagnostic equipment as well as that of domestic appliances such as clothes tumble dryers and HVAC equipment. Flex-Tek is part of Smiths Group plc.

About Smiths Interconnect
Smiths Interconnect is a leading provider of high reliability connectivity products and solutions serving segments of aerospace and defense, medical, semiconductor test, and industrial markets. It designs and manufactures technically differentiated electronic components, microwave, optical and radio frequency products and sub-systems that connect, protect and control critical applications. Smiths Interconnect is part of Smiths Group.

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