A Dassault Dossier

Aircraft Acquisition in France

by Robert L. Perry

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Avions Marcel Dassault is a very small company. Yet in the last two decades, it has provided nearly the entire combat aircraft complement of the French Air Force and exported high performance aircraft at prices lower than the competition. Dassault differs from most western contemporaries in emphasizing development rather than production; in uniquely European employment and personnel practices; in commitment to prototype development; and in preference for gradual, incremental, and evolutionary design. Dassault's special qualities appear to be attributable to its company policies, astute management, Marcel Dassault's influence, and a reconciliation of low risk technology and design simplicity with high performance. Basic Dassault policies could be adopted in the United States with potentially great advantage in cost and with long term benefits for stability in the U.S. aircraft industry.

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