Thales Optronics is a multinational optronics manufacturer and a division of Thales Group. It has three main subsidiaries: the United Kingdom-based Thales Optronics Limited, the France-based Thales Optronique SA and the Netherlands-based Thales Optronics B.V.
Thales' optronics businesses in the UK trace their origins to Pilkington Optronics, which was formed by Pilkington plc in 1988 to take control of the company's optronics businesses: Pilkington PE located in North Wales (formed in 1966) and Barr and Stroud, which was based in Glasgow. Pilkington PE later became Thales Optics Ltd., which was divested from Thales in December 2005 as Qioptiq Ltd.
In 1991 Thomson-CSF acquired 50% of Pilkington Optronics. In 1995 Pilkington Optronics acquired Thorn EMI Electro Optics which was renamed Pilkington Thorn Optronics. Three years later, Thomson-CSF purchased another 40% of Pilkington Optronics from Pilkington and the remainder in 2000 to make it a wholly owned subsidiary. In 2000 Thomson-CSF was renamed Thales and Pilkington Optronics Ltd. became Thales Optronics Ltd.