Born in Bruay-en-Artois (Pas-de-Calais) on March 17, 1931, a graduate of France’s leading school of engineering (École Polytechnique class of 1952) and chief armament engineer, he started his career with the Powder Corps in Angoulême and then in Saint-Médard-en-Jalles.
He joined Dassault in 1964 as the director of the Martignas plant, which was designed to develop the MD-620 missile.
At the end of the program, he joined the Societe Nationale des Poudres et Explosifs (SNPE) in 1969 as the Self-Propulsion Engineering Director, covering the major national missile programs (M20, M4, Roland, Exocet, ASMP, etc.).
He returned to Dassault in 1980 to manage the Saint-Cloud site. In 1987, he was appointed Industrial and Social Senior Vice-President, then Vice-President for Industrial and Social Affairs until he retired in 1998. In these roles, he was in charge of the major industrial streamlining efforts initiated in 1987, as well as the development of the Saint-Cloud 2000 site.
Michel Herchin was on the board of directors of ONERA and the French Air and Space Academy. He also served on the board of the journal Histoire et Entreprises. He was Commander of the Legion of Honor.
He passed away on November 14 at the age of 89.