Airbus and Safran on Thursday announced the official debut of their joint venture to build spaceflight rockets.
The French aerospace companies began collaborating on a rocket initiative in 2014 and already built the Ariane 5 launcher.
Officials called the announcement of Airbus Safran Launchers 50/50 Joint Venture a final step in combining Airbus' and Safran's rocket-related businesses.
Safran will pay $833 million to obtain a 50 percent stake in the joint venture, which will include 11 subsidiaries and affiliates and support a workforce of about 8,400 in France and Germany.
"Achieving such a radical transformation is a complex and challenging task," Safran CEO Philippe Petitcolin said in a statement. "But it sets us firmly on the path to a more integrated, more efficient and more competitive European launcher industry.”
Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders said the venture's initial priority will be the Ariane 6, which is expected to make its maiden flight as early as 2020.
The Wall Street Journal also noted that Airbus Safran Launchers is in talks to boost its existing stake in Arianespace -- which launches the Ariane 5 -- to assume majority control of the company, although the proposal drew skepticism from European antitrust regulators.