Dassault Aviation

Dassault Aviation SA
Traded as Euronext: AM
Industry Aerospace, Defense
Founded 1929 (1929)
Founder Marcel Dassault
(born Marcel Bloch)
Headquarters Paris, France
Key people
Éric Trappier
(chairman and CEO)
Charles Edelstenne
(General manager of Dassault Group)
Serge Dassault
(honorary chairman)
Products Civil aircraft
Military aircraft
Space activities
Revenue 4,176 billion (2015)
€482 million (2015)
Owner Dassault Group (56.1%)
Dassault Aviation (10%)
Airbus Group (9%)
Others (24.9%)
Number of employees
12,152 (2015)
Parent Dassault Group
Website www.dassault-aviation.com

Dassault Aviation SA (French pronunciation: [daso]) is an international French aircraft manufacturer of military, regional, and business jets, a subsidiary of Dassault Group.

It was founded in 1929 by Marcel Bloch as Société des Avions Marcel Bloch or "MB". After World War II, Marcel Bloch changed his name to Marcel Dassault, and the name of the company was changed to Avions Marcel Dassault on 20 January 1947.

In 1971 Dassault acquired Breguet, forming Avions Marcel Dassault-Breguet Aviation (AMD-BA). In 1990 the company was renamed Dassault Aviation.

The Dassault Aviation Group is headed by Eric Trappier since 9 January 2013.[1]

In 2015, Dassault Aviation is a multinational company employing almost 11,745 people, including 9,000 in France, with a commercial presence in over 83 countries and its activities are centered on the following areas:


Marcel Bloch - around 1914

The Société des Avions Marcel Bloch was founded by Marcel Bloch in 1929. In 1935 Bloch and Henry Potez entered into an agreement to buy Société Aérienne Bordelaise (SAB), subsequently renamed Société Aéronautique du Sud-Ouest. In 1936 the arms industry in France was nationalised as the Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Sud Ouest (SNCASO). Marcel Bloch was asked to act as delegated administrator of the Minister for Air.[2] During the occupation of France the country's aviation industry was virtually disbanded.[3] Marcel Bloch was imprisoned by the Vichy government in October 1940. In 1944 Bloch was deported to the Buchenwald concentration camp by the German occupiers where he remained until it was liberated on 11 April 1945.

On 10 November 1945 at an extraordinary general meeting of the Société Anonyme des Avions Marcel Bloch the company voted to change its form to a limited liability entity, Société des Avions Marcel Bloch, which was to be a holding company. On 20 January 1947 Société des Avions Marcel Bloch became Société des Avions Marcel Dassault to reflect the name adopted by its owner.

In 1954 Dassault established an electronics division (by 1962 named Electronique Marcel Dassault), the first action of which was to begin development of airborne radars, soon followed by seeker heads for air-to-air missiles, navigation, and bombing aids. From the 1950s to late 1970s exports become a major part of Dassault’s business, major successes were the Dassault Mirage series and the Mystere-Falcon.

In 1965 and 1966 the French government stressed to its various defense suppliers the need to specialize to maintain viable companies. Dassault was to specialise in combat and business aircraft, Nord Aviation in ballistic missiles and Sud Aviation civil and military transport aircraft and helicopters.[4] (Nord Aviation and Sud Aviation would merge in 1970 to form Aérospatiale which would itself later merge with 2 other firms and become EADS (now Airbus Group)) .

On 27 June 1967 Dassault (at the urging of the French government) acquired 66% of Breguet Aviation. Under the merger deal Société des Avions Marcel Dassault was dissolved on 14 December 1971, with its assets vested in Breguet, to be renamed Avions Marcel Dassault-Breguet Aviation (AMD-BA).

Dassault Systèmes was established in 1981 to develop and market Dassault’s CAD program, CATIA. Dassault Systèmes was to become a market leader in this field.[5]

Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet of the UK defence technology organisation QinetiQ

In 1979 the French government took a 20% share in Dassault and established the Societé de Gestion de Participations Aéronautiques (SOGEPA) to manage this and an indirect 25% share in Aerospatiale (the government also held a direct 75% share in that company). In 1998 the French government transferred its shares in Dassault Aviation (45.76%) to Aerospatiale. On 10 July 2000, Aérospatiale-Matra merged with other European companies to form EADS (renamed Airbus Group in 2014).

Serge Dassault - 2009

In 2000 Serge Dassault resigned as chairman and was succeeded by Charles Edelstenne. Serge Dassault was appointed honorary chairman.

The American company Atlantic Aviation based in Wilmington, Delaware, was acquired in October 2000.

On 18 December 2000, Dassault Aviation was the first French company to be certified ISO 9001/2000 by BVQI.

Within fifteen years or so, thanks to developments in I.T., the industrial design offices went from using drawing boards to computerized 3D-modelling. Physical models were replaced by virtual digital mock-ups enabling a first version to be produced that is directly operational. This veritable industrial revolution was made possible thanks to PLM software (Product Lifecycle Management) from Dassault Systemes.

"Virtual plateau" technology, allowing all the design offices to work together simultaneously within short deadlines, was deployed for the Falcon 7X trijet program. In this way, for the first time, the primary parts and physical assembly of the first Falcon 7X were produced and carried out at Bordeaux-Mérignac without the slightest adjustment or correction.

Airbus sold some of its ownership back to Dassault in 2014,[6] and further reduced its share to 27% in 2015.[7]


Sogitec, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dassault, makes advanced avionics simulation, 3D imaging, military flight simulators, and document imaging systems.


The Dassault Aviation Group is an international group that encompasses most of the aviation activities of the Dassault Group

Dassault Aviation Group Management

History of Chief Executive Officers

Management committee



The Dassault Rafale ordered in 1988 and now in service with the French Navy and French Air Force.
Full-scale model of the stealth combat drone Dassault nEUROn, the "European UCAV technology demonstrator" at the Paris Air Show 2005.


Dassault Falcon (Mystère) 20F-5

See also


  1. "Dassault Names Eric Trappier as Chief to Succeed Edelstenne". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  2. "History of Groupe Dassault Aviation S". Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  3. Dassault Aviation History, 1916 to this day: During the War. Accessed 5 January 2006.
  4. Dassault Aviation History, 1916 to this day: The company's successive reorganizations. Accessed 5 January 2006.
  5. "History of Dassault Systems". Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  6. Trautvetter, Chad. "Airbus Begins Selling Off Stake in Dassault Aviation" AINonline, 2 December 2014.
  7. Thisdell, Dan (25 March 2015), "Airbus raises stakes in move to divest Dassault", Flightglobal, Reed Business Information, retrieved 27 March 2015
  8. "Eric Trappier Named New Head of Dassault Aviation". Aviation Office. Retrieved 2012-12-18.

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