We operate in an unpredictable environment, take a very long-term view and our fundamentals are solid. Our strength lies in a unique development model and the loyalty of our customers. Our long-term viability is the result of our ability to shape the future and to adapt to a constant stream of new challenges.
Dassault Aviation is the only aerospace group in the world that is still owned by the family of its founder, Marcel Dassault. This unwavering backing from our main shareholder ensures the stability of our management team: Eric Trappier is only the fifth Chairman and CEO in a century. This ability to take a long-term view is a major asset in aviation, an industry with extremely long cycles: an aircraft may well stay in production for as long as 25 years and remain in service for more than 40 years.
Our stability allows us to uphold the values that have driven Dassault Aviation’s success: technical excellence and innovation; a passion for aeronautics; quick strategic decisions; adaptability in the face of change; the determination to meet objectives; efficient management and competitiveness; and a human resources policy designed to attract top talent and ensure their loyalty.
We take a unique approach to sharing profits based on fair distribution, in particular a profit-sharing agreement and an incentive scheme for our French employees that go well beyond legal requirements.
Our blend of civilian and military activities makes a significant contribution to France’s national defense capabilities.
Customer satisfaction, grounded in the principles of integrity, trust and loyalty, is our top priority. Dassault Aviation’s ongoing success stems from the skills and commitment of our people. Our pursuit of technological excellence and innovation goes hand in hand with a commitment to quality and environmental protection. Economic performance involves providing shareholders and the financial markets with open and accurate information, complying with the rules of fair competition and treating suppliers equitably. We are outward-looking, with a proactive policy of partnerships, employee training and sustained links with the scientific and academic communities.
Our dual civil-military expertise means that we can count on two different markets with different business cycles, reducing our exposure to fluctuating economic conditions. We design and produce both military and business aircraft in the same design departments and factories. The state-of-the-art technology developed for military use also benefits our civil aviation business, which in turn generates innovations in terms of production and certification.
As an industrial architect and systems integrator, we know how to develop and apply state-of-the-art technologies. This rare skill makes us a pivotal player in ensuring the strategic autonomy of France and Europe, in terms of both civil and military aviation.
Our focus on innovation is reflected by major research contracts and substantial self-financed investments. We are working on the ongoing development of the Rafale (F4 and export standards), as well as on the development of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), the Falcon 6X and 10X, the Falcon 8X Archange, the Falcon 2000 Albatros, in addition to the Eurodrone and nEUROn UCAVs.
In order to achieve the right balance between long-term technological developments and short-cycle innovations, we are developing architectures capable of integrating developments and breakthroughs, while meeting the highest level of security requirements. We are also actively engaged with a large ecosystem of start-ups, with a view to fostering innovation.
Inspired by the need for fuel-efficient, high-performance aircraft, we are working on solutions to reduce air transport emissions. We are involved in research programs that seek to achieve technological and operational breakthroughs from an environmental point of view. These breakthroughs relate to three main issues: reducing aircraft drag and weight, specifically thanks to the use of high-aspect-ratio laminar flow wings; improving fuel consumption thanks to optimized flight paths; and using sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) that offer significant reductions in the carbon footprint of aviation.
As part of France’s civil aviation research council (Corac), we are actively involved in a series of technology maturation projects that are in step with the French aeronautics stimulus plan.
Since 2008, Clean Sky 1 and 2 have provided us with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate our technological solutions. In the process, we have worked with some 20 major partners in seven European countries. We are pursuing this collective approach with the Clean Aviation program, which follows on from the two previous Clean Sky projects.
Our main research focus continues to be in the areas of eco-design, new materials, as well as maintenance and recycling technologies aimed at optimizing aircraft life cycles.
Sesar, a European joint undertaking devoted to improving air traffic management, has contributed to the development of our FalconEye system, which provides safe access to airports in conditions of poor visibility, including those with limited technical resources.
The next phase of the Man-Machine Teaming (MMT) program, which is devoted to developing advanced solutions for enhancing man-machine interfaces, is currently under preparation. This phase will further consolidate the ecosystem that has already been developed to facilitate the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into military aviation.
We provide the project management and organizational expertise needed to ensure that all parties involved work together effectively to deliver complex programs that meet our customers’ evolving needs, on time and on budget.
We manage the entire life cycle of programs for our customers and partners. We ensure the system’s underlying fundamentals and its development. We are responsible for assessing the technological challenges as well as the scope and sharing of tasks between partners. And we manage, coordinate and guarantee the ultimate efficacy of the systems delivered. This is the added value we provide as an industrial architect.
Our focus as a design architect is on developing data-driven systems with resilient and adaptable architectures, as well as collaborative functions that can be distributed across multiple platforms to cope with potentially compromised network conditions.
We are the leading industrial partner in the European New Generation Fighter (NGF) program, a mainstay of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS). On the basis of the concept study contract signed in January 2019, France and Germany officially announced the start of preliminary development work on the NGF demonstrator. In December 2020, Spain became the third partner in the FCAS program.
A networked system, the FCAS includes the NGF, existing fighters, UAVs, and cruise missiles, which are all integrated with other defense systems.
The Rafale continues to surge ahead thanks to a combination of technological advances and user feedback. Its F3-R standard, launched in 2014, entered initial operational capability in December 2019. It will be followed by the F4 standard: starting in 2022 for certain functions, with full operational capability scheduled for 2024.
The F4 standard focuses on connectivity, survivability, combat engagement capabilities and dispatch reliability. The first export order for the F4 was placed by the United Arab Emirates in December 2021, with a contract for the purchase of 80 Rafales.
Future Rafale standards are already being planned.
The Falcon 10X was unveiled in May 2021. It is set to become the most comfortable and spacious ultra-long-range business jet on the market. Its entry into service is scheduled for late 2025.
The Falcon 6X program was launched in February 2018 for entry into service in late 2022. It completed its first flight on March 10, 2021.
The contract for the maritime surveillance Falcon Albatros (AVSIMAR) was officially announced in December 2020.
The Archange airborne strategic intelligence program was officially announced in December 2019. It will be based on three Falcon 8X aircraft equipped with electronic warfare systems designed by Thales.
The nEUROn is the first stealth combat drone (UCAV) to date to be developed as a joint European program. Since its first flight in 2012, the nEUROn has completed 160 test flights, which have yielded invaluable information with regard to its advanced stealth and operational support capabilities.
Our expertise enables us to design cutting-edge projects and to support future French and European space activities, which are central to strategic autonomy.
Digital is at the heart of our innovative solutions and our development strategy. Our capabilities as a system architect draw on major digital technologies, ranging from 3D creation to big data. For more than forty years, we have been among the pioneers of a new industrial revolution.
Ever since the revolutionary advent of 3D modeling, we have been investing in digital innovations. This was the crucible that forged Dassault Systèmes, our long-standing partner. Our links with the world leader in Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions provide us with the expertise and methods needed to adapt these powerful technologies to our industrial activities. The new tools we are deploying also enhance our ability to look ahead and take a comprehensive view – from design through production, and right down to support and the user experience.
We are investing in a sovereign and high-performance information system. As an architect of aeronautical solutions working in partnership with our industrial partners and our government customers, we are building the collaborative combat systems of the future.
In 2018, the decision was made to transition to 3DExperience, Dassault Systèmes’ unified platform, which has replaced existing PLM solutions used in our civil and military aircraft programs. The development of the new Falcon and future combat aircraft is currently taking place in a 3DExperience environment.
Collaborative system engineering involves using a shared digital model to coordinate everybody involved in the development of large airborne systems.
Implemented as part of the ATL2 modernization project, this method is currently being applied as part of the NGF collaborative project and will be used for our new programs. Digital modelling allows security and data sovereignty considerations to be incorporated very early in the process. Dassault Aviation is also connected to the secure platforms used by the French defense procurement agency (DGA) and its partners, providing greater scope for joint development work.
We make use of big data in all our programs. It enables the deployment of management, analysis and decision-making tools, based on strictly controlled and sovereign shared data.
In 2020, to develop the Artificial Intelligence algorithms required for big data, we launched both an “AI Challenge for Industry” – in partnership with the Greater Paris Region – and specifically aeronautics-related research as part of our Data Science Lab collaboration with Dassault Systèmes.
Thanks to the specialized character of our plants, our international footprint — particularly in India — and our digital innovations, our manufacturing systems evolve to meet the exacting standards of quality and competitiveness demanded by the global market.
We are continuing the process of further integrating and specializing our production system in a series of strategic areas: metal products, composites, flat products, etc. This quest for synergy has led to the construction of a new plant in Cergy as well as specialized facilities: a collaborative office building in Mérignac, wing assembly in Martignas and composite wing parts in Biarritz.
The changes we are making to our facilities are helping to foster a more collaborative approach. Our design teams work even more closely with our customers and take a holistic view of the entire aircraft lifecycle. For instance, the design office integrates production and recycling requirements at a very early stage, in accordance with Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) standards.
An SAP single production management system is now up and running across all our plants. It will improve our industrial performance and our responsiveness with respect to our supply chain.
As we increasingly move towards the Connected Factory 4.0 model, our workers are using augmented reality tools – for example, to facilitate and check the proper positioning of components within the aircraft.
We are at the center of an industrial network that has gradually developed over the decades, one that shares knowledge and methods, along with proven design and production tools. Aéroprint bears witness to these relationships: this agreement to support the development of additive manufacturing involves the creation of a collaborative platform in Argonay.
The 2016 contract for 36 Rafales has strengthened our 65-year relationship with India thanks to an increased sharing of workloads and technologies, which is designed to enhance our competitiveness over the long term. Since 2020, our Nagpur plant, located in the state of Maharashtra, has been delivering Falcon 2000 front cockpit sections that are fully compliant with our quality standards. The ramp-up in production has resulted in the construction of a second 12,500-m² production facility. In the midst of the Covid-19 epidemic, Indian teams maintained production in compliance with health measures, demonstrating their growing autonomy.
The growth of our business has resulted in a number of partnerships with local companies. Our supply chain is expanding to include new suppliers. Ranging from large industrial operators to SMEs, the French aeronautical ecosystem involved in the Rafale program includes 25 production facilities and 20 joint ventures in India. Activities include design, production and support.