Operating in an unpredictable environment in which taking a very long-term view is key, our fundamentals are solid. Our strength lies in a unique development model and very loyal customers. We owe our longevity to our ability to envision the future and adapt to new challenges.
Our dual civil-military expertise means that we can count on markets with different business cycles, thus reducing our exposure to fluctuating economic conditions. Our civil and military jet aircraft are designed in the same department and manufactured in the same plants. 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.
We play a key part in France’s national defense by supplying military aircraft, as well as by providing associated operational support. We have acquired strategic expertise in the design and management of a high-performance and reliable air combat system. Fighter aircraft and their accompanying operational systems constitute the cornerstones of security and deterrence in the face of significant threats.
Dassault Aviation manufactures conventional combat systems, with their export being subject to a stringent authorization process conducted by the French government.
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 CEO in a century. This ability to take a long-term view is a major asset in aviation, where cycles tend to be extremely long: 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.
In 2022, the average annual gross compensation was €60,769; the final figure amounts to €68,894 when profit-sharing and incentive payments are included for employees of the Group’s French companies. Works councils received more than €27 million, i.e. 5% of the total payroll of the Group’s French companies. These works councils provide our employees with numerous social, sporting and cultural activities.
As an industrial architect and systems integrator, it is vital to be capable of developing and applying state-of-the-art technologies. Dassault Aviation possesses this rare ability, making it a pivotal player in aerospace research and development in 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, F5 and export standards), as well as on the development of the FCAS, the Falcon 6X and 10X, the Falcon 8X Archange, the Falcon 2000 Albatros, in addition to the Eurodrone and nEUROn drones.
In addition to their superlative operational performance, our aircraft are also designed to be fuel efficient. Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) deliver a reduction in CO2 emissions of 80% to 90% compared to kerosene. The 30% SAF blends currently available on the market are being used by our Falcons, which are already certified for blends up to 50%. The Falcon 10X will be the first Falcon to be certified for 100% SAF use. In addition, flight path optimization, incorporating extremely fine-grained meteorological data, promises to deliver rapid operational gains.
Right from the design stage and throughout their entire life cycle, we are actively reducing the environmental footprint of the manufacture, use and recycling of our aircraft. As part of France’s civil aviation research council (Corac), we are involved in a series of technology maturation projects in the area of sustainable aviation.
Since 2008, Clean Sky 1 and Clean Sky 2 programs has provided us with the opportunity to collaborate with some twenty major partners in seven European countries. We are also involved in the Clean Aviation program, which is designed to continue this work.
Sesar, a European joint-undertaking devoted to improving air dedicated traffic, has contributed to the development of our FalconEye system, which provides safe access to all airports in conditions of poor visibility, including those with limited technical resources.
Since December 2022, Dassault Aviation has been coordinating the EICACS project, a European initiative supported by the European Defense Fund aimed at establishing future interoperability standards for air combat systems. This project brings together 37 industrial and research organizations from 11 European countries.
Man-Machine Teaming (MMT) — a program devoted to developing advanced solutions for optimizing interaction between humans and machines — has created an ecosystem enabling further integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into military aeronautics.
We provide the project management and organizational expertise needed to ensure that all parties involved work together effectively in order to deliver complex programs that meet our customers’ evolving needs, on time and on budget.
In our capacity as an industrial architect, we manage the entire life cycle of aircraft programs for our customers and partners. We provide value through our ability to manage, coordinate and guarantee the ultimate efficacy of the systems delivered by such projects.
Guarantor of 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.
Our focus as a design architect is on developing resilient and adaptable data-driven systems, as well as collaborative functions that can be distributed across multiple platforms to cope under potentially compromised network conditions.
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. The F4 standard will deliver further improvements in connectivity, survivability, combat engagement capabilities and dispatch reliability. The F5 standard is currently under development.
The Falcon 6X program was launched in February 2018 and completed its first flight in March 2021. At the end of July 2022, the first Falcon 6X series aircraft completed a flight around the world to demonstrate the readiness and reliability of its systems.
The Falcon 10X was unveiled in May 2021. Initial component production was launched in 2022.
The outstanding capabilities of the Falcons mean that they are ideally suited to being used as high-performance special mission jets.
The Falcon 10X is one of the contenders selected by the French defense procurement agency (DGA) in December 2022 for inclusion in a system design project aimed at developing a future maritime patrol aircraft.
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 the Falcon 8X jet equipped with electronic warfare systems designed by Thales.
Under Dassault Aviation’s leadership, the nEUROn is the first stealth combat drone (UCAV) to date to be developed as part of a joint European program. Since its first flight in 2012, the nEUROn has completed over 170 test flights, which have yielded invaluable information with regard to its advanced stealth and operational capabilities.
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 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.
In 2018, the decision was made to transition to 3DExperience, Dassault Systèmes’ unified platform, which has replaced all existing PLM solutions used in our civil and military aircraft programs. The development of the new Falcon and future combat aircraft is taking place using this platform.
By collaborative system engineering, we mean 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. The system digital model allows security and data sovereignty considerations to be incorporated very early in the process.
We make use of big data in our programs. It enables the deployment of management, analysis and decision-making tools, based on strictly controlled and sovereign shared data.
In order to develop the Artificial Intelligence algorithms required for big data, we are carrying out research specifically related to aeronautics as part of our Data Science Lab collaboration with Dassault Systèmes.
Thanks to the specialized character of our plants, our international footprint — notably in India — and our digital innovations, we are able to constantly adapt our manufacturing systems in order to maintain the level 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 emphasis on developing synergies has led to the construction of a new plant in Cergy as well as the creation of new facilities housing various activities at different sites: tertiary activities in Mérignac, wing assembly and pyrotechnics in Martignas, composite wing parts in Biarritz, and all metal parts in Seclin.
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 more 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.
Our SAP production management system, used across all our plants, has improved our industrial performance and our responsiveness to our supply chain.
Our smart factory approach is aimed at improving our ability to plan ahead and use data to manage our performance. It involves marrying the expertise of our workers with digital technologies. Augmented reality tools have been deployed in our workshops. The production of our new aircraft is being brought up to the 4.0 standard natively. This process is underway at all our facilities.
We are at the center of an industrial network that has gradually developed over the decades. This network is an integral part of France’s and Europe’s strategic autonomy. In the course of the many crises it has faced, this aeronautics ecosystem has also been able to count on Dassault Aviation’s support and practical assistance on technical and operational issues, as well as in terms of resilience.
We are committed to sharing and maintaining precious knowledge and methods, along with proven design and production tools. A case in point, the Aeroprint additive manufacturing project provides for the creation of a collaborative platform in Argonay, and is evidence of the close ties between Dassault Aviation and its regional partners.
The 2016 contract for 36 Rafales has strengthened our 70-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 producing Falcon 2000 front cockpit sections. The ramp-up in production has resulted in the construction of a second 135,000-sq.-foot production facility. The Indian teams have demonstrated their advanced level of expertise and self-reliance.