Saint-Cloud, France, July 02, 2016 – The Dassault Aviation company is deeply honored that the French Air Force has chosen to name, yesterday, the 2015 class of officer graduates from the École de l’Air after Marcel Dassault.
Following Louis Blériot and Clément Ader, this is only the third time a civilian has been given the honor, out of a total of more than 80 classes. Marcel Dassault (1892-1986) was a man of strong will, conviction, passion and courage, and he had always wanted to provide France with the best possible tools to ensure its defense. After overcoming numerous technical and industrial challenges, he could easily have made the French Air Force’s motto his own: “Faire face” (Stand fast). He demonstrated this strength of character in heroic fashion during the Occupation when, as an unflinching patriot, he preferred deportation to Buchenwald over collaboration with the Nazis. For a century now, the fruit of the genius, methods and values of our founder have enabled the French Air Force to carry out its missions effectively. From the Éclair propeller on Georges Guynemer’s Spad VII in 1916, to the Mirage and the Rafale, not forgetting the Flamant and Falcon for transport and liaison, serving the air force has always been and more than ever remains a priority and a source of pride for the personnel of Dassault Aviation.
Whether under his original name, Bloch, or that he used after the war, Dassault, nearly 4,200 aircraft have been delivered to the French Air Force since its creation in 1934, thanks to the work of our founder. In 1952, the Company enabled France to enter the military jet era with the Ouragan and then the Mystère IV. Both of these aircraft were to be used by the Patrouille de France, as was the Alpha Jet later on. Then came aircraft capable of exceeding Mach 1 in level flight (Super-Mystère B2), and then, for the first time in Western Europe, Mach 2 (Mirage III, then the Mirage F1). In 1964, Dassault Aviation made a major contribution to the nuclear deterrent force, with the Mirage IV strategic bomber.
In the early 80s, the Mirage 2000 ushered in the era of modern digital weapons systems for the French Air Force. The Rafale, the last aircraft to come off the Marcel Dassault drawing boards under his personal guidance, has since 2006 been demonstrating its ability to carry out perfectly the multitude of operational tasks for which it was designed. Over and above the aircraft themselves, Dassault Aviation’s involvement in the design of its aircraft’s support systems and its long-term relations with the French Air Force personnel mean that an appropriate and efficient response to their needs is provided: crew systems, operations and maintenance resources, simulators, spares, repairs, documentation, etc.
With more than 8,000 military and civil aircraft delivered to more than 90 countries over the past 60 years, and having logged nearly 28 million flight hours to date, Dassault Aviation can offer recognized know-how and experience in the design, development, sale and support of all types of aircraft, from the Rafale fighter to the Falcon range of high-end business jets, as well as military unmanned air systems. In 2015, Dassault Aviation reported revenues of €4.20 billion. The company has almost 12,000 employees. In 2016, Dassault Aviation is celebrating the first centennial of its history, which started in 1916 with Marcel Dassault and the Éclair propeller.
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