Dassault Aviation is fully privately owned French Aerospace and Defence Company specializing in design, development and manufacturing of civilian and military aircraft. Dassault Aviation was founded in 1930 as Société des Avions Marcel Bloch by Marcel Bloch. The company changed its name to Avions Marcel Dassault in 1947 when Marcel Bloch changed his name to Marcel Dassault. The company renamed again in 1971 when it acquired Breguet to Avions Marcel Dassault-Breguet Aviation.
Breguet Aviation was also a French aircraft manufacturer which was founded by Louis Charles Breguet. It finally changed its name to Dassault Aviation in 1990. Dassault Aviation is notably known around the world for its Mirage Fighter Jets and Falcon Business Jets. Currently Charles Edelstenn is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company.
Ownership: Dassault Aviation became fully privately owned company in 1998 when the French Govt. transferred its shares to Aerospatiale. Aerospatiale later merged with EADS. Today majority stakes in the company are held by the Dassault Group which is owned by the Dassault Family lead by Serge Dassault.
Dassault Aviation also owns several related companies and maintains them as its subsidiaries. These include Dassault Falcon responsible for Falcon Business Jets, Thales Group which is involved in electronics, avionics, radars and combat vehicles. Thales supplies all the primary subsystems like radar, avionics and electronics suit to Dassault Fighter jets. Others include Dassault Procurement Services, Dassault Falcon Service and Sogitec Industries.
Presence: Being a French company, Dassault as its maximum presence in France with 10 facilities spread all across the country. It also has its offices in countries like Brazil, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong (PRC), Greece, Russia, Switzerland and UAE. Its subsidiaries have large presence in USA with 5 offices. Thales has its presence in UK, USA, Germany, China, Spain, Egypt, UAE, Venezuela and Israel. Dassault Aviation has sold its product to as many as 76 countries. It employs more than 12000 employees and its aircrafts have logged more than 25 million flight hours. So far Dassault Aviation has delivered over 7900 aircrafts.
- French Air Force and Navy
- Spanish Air Force
- Indian Air Force
- Israeli Air Force
- Pakistani Air Force
- Royal Air Force of Oman
- UAE Air Force
- Republic of China Air Force
- Wells Fargo Bank
- Federal Express (FedEx)
Notable Products: Most notable products of Dassault Aviation include Mirage Series Fighter Jets, Rafale Fighter Jets, Falcon Business Jets and nEUROn UCAV.
Mirage Series Fighters: First Mirage series fighter to enter service was the Mirage III in the 1961. Other Mirage series fighters include Mirage IIIV (VTOL fighter), Mirage IV, Mirage F1, Mirage 5, Mirage G and Mirage-2000. Mirage series fighters have seen combat in Middle-east, South America, Europe and Indian Sub-continent and has successfully scored many combat kill and has dropped multiple ordnance. Mirage series fighters are best known for their work in the six-day war and the Kargil conflict.
Rafale: Dassault Rafale was first introduced with the French Air Force in the fall of year 2000 and with the French Navy in 2002. Rafale is one of the most advance 4th Generation fighter and is comparable with the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Su-30/35. Its capability include low observability, Advance avionics, best in the world EW suit, high payload capacity and high endurance. It is currently on offer to many countries including India, Brazil, Libya, Greece, Oman and UAE. However even with superior capability the Rafael has so far failed to win any foreign orders and has suffered four mishaps since 2007.
Falcon Series Business Jets: Falcon Family BJ’s were first offered by Dassault Aviation in the 1960’s with Falcon 20 and 10. Both the aircrafts were commercially successful. These were followed by Falcon 50 than Falcon 900 than the Falcon 2000 all of which were successful with each more than 250 produced. The latest in the family is the Falcon 7X which is a trijet long range business jet. Price of each Falcon 7X is $50 million and currently there are more than 200 of them on order.
nEUROn: Is experimental Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle being developed with cooperation with other European companies. Only one prototype will be built and will be used to develop a production UCAV by 2020.
Future: Dassault Aviation is the only aircraft manufacturer in the world which is still owned and controlled by the family which founded it. Dassault Aviation continues to earn more than €350 million net profit and its product are at the forefront in terms of technology. The Falcon Family business Jets are still quite popular and have good demand and the Rafael is leading multi-vendor competition in India and Brazil. Dassault has also bagged multi-billion dollar contracts to upgrade its Mirage series fighters from across the world. Most importantly Dassault Aviation is passionate about its work and will continue to enjoy great deal of success for decades to come.