Development of our chemical and biological threat detectors

History & Keys facts


Founded in 1972, Proengin develops, manufactures and markets a complete range of chemical and biological detection systems – from hand-held detectors to stand-alone 24/7 CBRN surveillance systems.

These products can detect the presence of toxic agents and are mainly used by military forces and international organizations in hostile environments, by first responders (especially firefighters, police, customs), and to secure critical civil infrastructures.

The market for chemical and biological detection, on which Proengin operates, is experiencing strong growth driven by structural megatrends (increased threats, growing awareness of the risks for civilians, generalization of the precautionary principle, etc.). In addition, this sector presents high barriers to entry: mastery of cutting-edge technology, a proven track record of product reliability in highly constrained environments, etc.

Proengin's detectors incorporate a unique know-how and technology based on flame spectrophotometry ("FPD"), which is an extremely reliable, universal and particularly sensitive (detection of toxic agents even at low concentrations). Proengin invests heavily in R&D in order to broaden the applications and use cases of its advanced technology.

The new management team led by Jean-François BRUN has transformed the group into a leading, fast-growing global player. The company has an installed base of more than 19,000 detectors worldwide. Proengin maintains commercial relations in more than 70 countries.

Qualium Investissement, a French institutional private equity player is the majority shareholder of the group and intends to support the acceleration and provide a strong resilience, alongside the current shareholders (Capital Export) which are also reinvesting in the operation.

Proengin was founded in 1972 by Pierre Clausin in order to conduct research and development (R&D) activities, primarily for the French Ministry of Defense.

Numerous studies, prototypes, and product designs were carried out which allowed Proengin’s engineers and technicians to better understand several types of technologies such as optics, electronics, micro-mechanics, and hydrogen management.

In 1984, the French Ministry of Defense initiated R&D studies for a new generation of chemical detectors that would be easy to operate, provide detection precision at low concentration levels, and capable of working in a military field environment.

Thanks to its unique experience acquired in various technological fields, Proengin proposed an innovative solution using flame spectroscopy technology that was selected by the French Ministry of Defense.

In 1990, the first detector family produced by Proengin, the AP2C, was extensively used in Kuwait and Iraq during the first Gulf War. This detector was noticed by several coalition armed forces during this conflict, since they were working closely together.

The excellent track record of the AP2C led to its adoption by the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) for inspection and chemical disarmament missions in Iraq. The first Gulf War established a reputation for the AP2C due to its high standard of quality, accuracy, robustness, and reliability.

Since then, the AP2C and our next generation product the AP4C has become a benchmark product, which helped to establish Proengin as a recognized leader in chemical detection.

Our products are used in more than 72 countries by Armed Forces, law enforcement agencies, monitoring organizations, and first responders.

Capitalizing on this initial success, a broad range of products have been developed such as handheld and body worn detectors, mounted detectors for mobile platforms, and 24/7 detection system for persistent monitoring and critical infrastructure applications. Furthermore, the technology has been adapted to also be able to detect various biological threats, which allows Proengin to be the unique position to offer a combined chemical and biological threat detector using a single sensor.

Half a century later, Proengin has become the synonymous with excellence in the management of CBRN threats. We are committed to continuing our legacy by innovating through research and development activities and investing in new products, capabilities and services in order to better serve and protect our customers