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Dassault Aviation Dassault 1965-1986 - Exports

During the 1960s, the temperature of the cold War "rose" as a result of interposed countries, notably Vietnam and the Israel/Arab conflict intensified. The conquering of space, a strategic and media-attracting challenge, supplanted the conquering of the air. During this period, the Dassault company took part in the national revival, by taking on programs, alone or in partnership, that contributed to pulling the French aviation industry up to third place worldwide.

Ivil and military sales on the export market allowed the State to buy aircraft at a more affordable price thanks to a longer production series. The final benefits for the national economy were also obvious, as stressed by Benno Claude Vallières: "When you examine the case of the Mirage III and the amount invested by the State to produce it, and the tooling needed to build it, and you compare this amount to the export market turnover, the latter represents 1.58 %. In other words, for FFr 1.58 invested, the State earns FFr 100 from export sales... "For the Mystère 20, if the ratio is calculated taking account of the portion not reimbursed to the State, this represents 2.75 %, for the Mirage F 1 it is 8.12% and for the Mystère 10 it is 10.6 %."

In 1976, AMD-BA was ranked as the number three French industrial exporter and the top aviation exporter. In 1977, the company won export orders worth French Francs 11 billion. If the orders resulting from AMD-BA's orders, in other words the orders for the engines, radars and missiles fitted to aircraft (orders placed with Snecma, Thomson - CSF and Matra) are added to this, Dassault - Breguet won export orders worth more than French Francs 16 billion, in other words, a quarter of France's annual oil bill.

The sale of a Dassault aircraft benefited the French aviation industry as a whole. In reality, the company only produced a relatively minor part of the aircraft bearing its name. It thus acted as an impetus for a complete industrial fabric, extending even further given that each of its components itself subcontracted part of its manufacturing.

The Dassault company's success has intrigued people. Its characteristics have been analyzed abroad, particularly in the United States. In 1973, the US Air force placed an order with Rand Corporation, a Californian research and analysis institute, to conduct a survey of AMD-BA, which was qualified as a company that "is widely accepted as being one of the most efficient western companies in the field of designing and building aircraft". The aim was to examine and assess the Dassault company, identify its qualities and consider what could, after a certain adaptation, be transposed to the United States. The report stressed "price, performance, fast delivery and adaptability to a vast range of applications" as being the Company's "major assets".

On June 5, 1967, at dawn, a handful of Israeli Mirage III aircraft, accompanied by Ouragan, Mystère IV, Super Mystère and Vautour aircraft, destroyed the main part of the Arab coalition's aviation in a few hours. The Mirage III aircraft had won a war. The exploits of the Israeli Mirage pilots had made Dassault a household name in worldwide aviation circles. From then on, Dassault and Mirage were names that were indissociably linked. Associated with France's external politics, the Mirage III and its derivatives were then highly successful on the export market. Nine hundred and forty four aircraft had been sold or produced under license in twenty or so countries. The embargo decided on by the French government in 1969 put an end to the sales of combat aircraft to the State of Israel.

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