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Merging Aérospatiale and Dassault (19)

Merging Aérospatiale and Dassault (19)

The Government has just decided to constitute a major French civil and military, aeronautic and space group, capable of playing a federating role within Europe and of rivalling with American competitors.

Why ?

France has considerable assets at its disposal in this field ; these industries have proved capable of taking up the challenges of post-war reconstruction and the great programs launched by General de Gaulle. Our place is among the leaders, both in Europe and throughout the world. Our companies are to have the best cards to hand in order to consolidate this position and to be capable of creating even more activities, which in turn will create new jobs.

The objectives are clear :

  • the preservation of the integrity of industrial, technological and human capital whilst developing essential synergies ;
  • the preservation of the interests of National Defense ;
  • the opening of new development perspectives ;
  • the pursuit and reinforcement of the policy of alliances, associating or merging which have already taken place on a European level, as is the case between Aérospatiale and the German group DASA.


A steering committee has been set up for this operation. It is seated by directors from both companies. It is to put forward on 30th June 1996 the concrete terms of the operation. The objective is to constitute a unique group in the two years to come.

How ?

The project is to proceed from a true industrial project and is consequently to enable the merging of both research departments and production units. The rationalization of industrial means, purchasing and sub-contracting policies and commercial strategies of the two French aeronautical manufacturers is essential in conferring the French aeronautic industry with a sufficient technological, industrial and commercial strength in the face of the power and the aggressiveness of American competitors.

This merging should enable both Dassault Aviation and the Aérospatiale group, of which the unity is in no way questioned, to pursue their development in the field of rival civil and military contracts which is the only way of compensating the inevitable reduction in public military orders.

The merging is to go beyond a simple exchange of capitalistic participation which would not enable essential industrial rationalization. However, no financial scenario has been decided upon at this stage. The conditions in which the operation is to be carried out must, at all events, enable the new industrial group to dispose of a particularly strong financial structure. The group must be in a position of facing up to the investments which will be required for its development on cyclic markets.

The aeronautic and space industries are, for the Government, an essential sector of our high technology industry. In extension to the decisions made by General de Gaulle in favor of this sector, the Government intends, through the merging of Aérospatiale and Dassault Aviation, to constitute a true industrial pole federating this sector within Europe in order to better face international competition.

Sources: French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence

French Embassies in London and Washington.

For more information, go to French National Defense.


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).