Dassault Aviation is a manufacturer of business, military and regional jets, and a subsidiary of the Dassault Group. It is headquartered in Paris, France, with additional offices in South America, the Middle East, and Asia. Dassault Aviation employs over 11,000 people and had a net income of €406 million in 2011, making it one of the largest defense contractors in Europe.
The company was formed in 1929 by Marcel Bloch, a French industrialist. It was originally named Société des Avions Marcel Bloch, but renamed to Avions Marcel Dassault in 1947, after Bloch himself changed his name to Marcel Dassault. In 1971 Avions Marcel Dassault merged with Breguet Aviation, another French aircraft manufacturer, to form Avions Marcel Dassault-Breguet Aviation. Finally, the organization rebranded to Dassault Aviation in 1990.
Dassault Aviation is a publicly traded company. Its main shareholder is its parent organization, the Dassault Group, who hold just over half of Dassault Aviation’s shares. Another major shareholder is the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), a large European military contractor and defence corporation. In 2010 EADS owned 46.3% of Dassault Aviation. The remainder of the company’s shares are privately held. The French government took a 20% stake of the Dassault group in 1979, which it managed through the Societé de Gestion de Participations Aéronautiques (SOGEPA). However, in 1998 it transferred its stake in Dassault to Aerospatiale, one of the companies which would go on to form EADS.
In 1984, Dassault Aviation took on Sogitec as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Sogitec are a manufacturer of defense support systems, with products including flight simulators, 3D imaging and avionics modelling systems. It generated a turnover of €79 million in 2010.
Dassault Aviation’s current portfolio includes a wide range of military and civilian aircraft. Well known products include the Dassault Rafale, a delta-wing twin-engine fighter jet, and the Dassault Falcon range of business jets. One of Dassault Aviation’s major focuses for the beginning of the 21st century has been nEUROn, an Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) with stealth capabilities. The nEUROn is intended to act as a prototype for a future range of stealth combat drones, and made its first flight in December 2012 after nine years in development.
|Key people:||Charles Edelstenne (chairman and CEO)|