PARIS — Nexter and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann have named their joint venture KNDS, standing for "KMW and Nexter Defense Systems," the two companies announced June 10 in a joint statement.

"At Eurosatory 2016, the world's largest international land defense and security exhibition, Nexter and KMW will be showcasing their product ranges under the joint KNDS banner on just one stand," the statement read.

The two companies see the creation of the joint venture as the start of a consolidation in land systems.

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"We are glad to present our new step forward on the path to a strong European defense group through our new name and our common presence during Eurosatory," said Stéphane Mayer and Frank Haun, co-chief executives of KNDS.

The project name during the negotiations to set up the joint venture had been KANT, standing for "KMW and Nexter Together." The joint venture started life in December with a working name of Honosthor, drawn from Honos, the Roman god of chivalry, honor and military justice, and Thor, the Nordic god of thunder.

There are an initial five years to explore whether the KNDS 50-50 holding company will lead to closer ties between the French and German firms. The two companies seek cost savings of €60 million (US $68 million) over five years, cooperation on export sales, and joint planning to build new weapons for France, Germany, other European and worldwide client countries.

The partnership will have annual sales of almost €2 billion, an order book of €9 billion and employ more than 6,000 staff, the companies said.