- Aircraft Manufacturer -
Dassault Aviation

Dassault Aviation is a French aircraft manufacturer of military, regional and business jets, a subsidiary of Dassault Group.

It was founded in 1930 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 December 1947. In 1971, Dassault acquired Breguet, forming Avions Marcel Dassault-Breguet Aviation (AMD-BA). In 1990, the company was renamed Dassault Aviation.

The Société des Avions Marcel Bloch was founded by Marcel Bloch in 1930. 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.

During the occupation of France the country's aviation industry was virtually disbanded. 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. The average rate in the period 1952-1977 was 58%.

In the years 1965 and 1966 the French government stressed to its various defence 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. (Nord Aviations and Sud Aviation would merge in 1970 to form Aérospatiale).

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.

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.

In 2000 Serge Dassault resigned as Chairman and was succeeded by Charles Edelstenne. Serge Dassault was appointed Honorary Chairman.

- Dassault Group (50.21%)
- EADS (46.22%)
- Private Investors (3.57%)

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

Past and current aircraft models (and first flight)

- MD 315 Flamant, 1947
- MD 450 Ouragan, 1951
- MD 452 Mystère II, 1952
- MD 453 Mystère III, 1952 (a one-off MD-452 nightfighter)
- MD 454 Mystère IV, 1952
- MD 550 Mirage, 1955
- Super Mystère, 1955
- Mirage III, 1956,
- Étendard II, 1956
- Étendard IV, 1956
- MD 410 Spirale, 1960
- Mirage IV (atomic bomber), 1960
- Balzac, 1962
- Atlantique (ATL 1, originally a Breguet product), 1965
- Mirage F1, 1966
- Mirage V, 1967
- Mirage G, 1967
- Milan, 1968
- Mirage G-4/G-8, 1971
- Alpha Jet, 1973
- Jaguar (50/50 joint venture with BAC), 1973
- Super Étendard, 1974
- Falcon Guardian 01, 1977
- Mirage 2000, 1978
- Mirage 4000, 1979
- Mirage 50, 1979
- Falcon Guardian, 1981
- Atlantique 2 (ATL 2), 1982
- Mirage III NG, 1982
- Rafale, 1986
- nEUROn, expected 2010

- Falcon 10 (Falcon 100)
- Falcon 20 (Falcon 200)
- Falcon 30
- Falcon 50
- Falcon 900
- Falcon 2000
- Falcon 7X (originally Falcon FNX)
- Dassault M.D.320 Hirondelle
- Mercure

Last updated November 12, 2007