Pass­ing of a leg­end

Das­sault Avi­a­tion pays trib­ute to Serge Das­sault (1925-2018)

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - World Aviation & Defence News -

“Serge Das­sault has de­voted his life to aero­nau­tics and the French in­dus­try. He has de­fended with pas­sion and de­ter­mi­na­tion Das­sault Avi­a­tion and its em­ploy­ees, with the sole am­bi­tion of long-term vi­a­bil­ity of the French wings”, ex­pressed Eric Trap­pier, the Chair­man and CEO of Das­sault Avi­a­tion.

Serge Das­sault was born in Paris on 4 April 1925 and passed away on 28 May 2018. His adult life be­gan dra­mat­i­cally when, in early 1944, he was im­pris­oned by the Gestapo along with his par­ents and brother at Montluc near Lyon, and then at Drancy, from where pris­on­ers were sent to the death camps. The Nazis thought they could thus force his fa­ther Mar­cel Das­sault to place his air­craft de­signer skills at ser­vice of the Third Reich. Mar­cel Das­sault re­fused and was de­ported to Buchen­wald in Au­gust 1944, from where he mirac­u­lously re­turned in May 1945. Af­ter this trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ence, Serge was al­ways at­ten­tive to hu­mane mat­ters as also to na­tional sovereignty.

Af­ter grad­u­a­tion from the École Polytech­nique and the École Na­tionale Supérieure de l’Aéro­nau­tique, Serge Das­sault joined the de­sign of­fice at Générale Aéro­nau­tique Mar­cel Das­sault in 1951. He be­came man­ager of the flight test depart­ment in 1955 and, as such was in­volved with a large num­ber of mil­i­tary air­craft (Su­per Mys­tère B2, Éten­dard, Mi­rage III and Mi­rage IV). Ap­pointed as Head of Ex­port, he led the ne­go­ti­a­tions that re­sulted in the sale of Mi­rage III air­craft to Switzer­land and Aus­tralia. Serge Das­sault also launched the Mys­tère 20 (now Fal­con jet) sales cam­paign in the United States.

In 1963, he took over se­nior man­age­ment of the com­pany Élec­tron­ique Mar­cel Das­sault1, where he was ap­pointed Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer on 10 Oc­to­ber 1967 and held this po­si­tion un­til 23 De­cem­ber 1986. Then, from 29 Oc­to­ber 1986 to 4 April 2000, Serge Das­sault was Chair­man and CEO of Avions Mar­cel Das­sault - Breguet Avi­a­tion (which be­came Das­sault Avi­a­tion in 1990), even­tually be­com­ing its Hon­orary Chair­man. Since 2 De­cem­ber 1987, Serge Das­sault had also been Chair­man and CEO of Das­sault In­dus­tries, which be­came the Groupe In­dus­triel Mar­cel Das­sault on 1 Jan­uary 2000.

Un­der his lead­er­ship, Das­sault Avi­a­tion con­sis­tently devel­oped and im­ple­mented poli­cies aimed at adapt­ing to new mar­ket re­al­i­ties and led the Com­pany in ris­ing to the chal­lenges of the 21st cen­tury. Un­der his watch emerged in­no­va­tive air­craft types to meet new cus­tomers’ re­quire­ments, no­tably the mod­ernised Su­per Éten­dard, the Mi­rage 2000-5, the Mi­rage 2000D and the new gen­er­a­tion Rafale as con­cerned com­bat air­craft types while busi­ness jets en­com­passed the Fal­con 2000, the Fal­con 900EX, the Fal­con 50EX, the Fal­con 900C and multi-mis­sion Fal­cons of the Fal­con fam­ily.

These pro­grammes en­sured con­ti­nu­ity in the com­pany’s rep­u­ta­tion for ex­cel­lence and suc­cess­fully met many chal­lenges, be it ex­ports of the Rafale fighter, the first Euro­pean com­bat drone de­mon­stra­tor Neu­ron or the widen­ing of our range of Fal­con busi­ness jets with the in­tro­duc­tion of the 7X, the 8X and now, the 6X.

Un­der his guid­ance, and with the help of Charles Edel­stenne, Serge Das­sault re­struc­tured and mod­ernised the in­dus­try while main­tain­ing the com­pany’s so­cial ethos. No­tably, Serge Das­sault en­sured that ‘ev­ery em­ployee ben­e­fited from the ef­forts made, dis­tribut­ing in­cen­tives and profit-shar­ing far in ex­cess of what the law re­quired.

In 1975, af­ter serv­ing as Trea­surer of the trade union Union Syn­di­cale des In­dus­tries Aéro­nau­tiques et Spa­tiales (USIAS), which sub­se­quently be­came the Groupe­ment des In­dus­tries Françaises Aéro­nau­tiques et Spa­tiales (GIFAS), Serge Das­sault was ap­pointed Gen­eral Com­mis­sioner of the In­ter­na­tional Paris Air Show at Le Bour­get, there­after suc­cess­fully co­or­di­nated or­gan­i­sa­tion of no less than ten Paris Air Shows.

He presided over GIFAS from 1993 to 1997, and in ad­di­tion, was pres­i­dent of the French Coun­cil of De­fense In­dus­tries (CIDEF) be­tween 1994 and 1996, vice-pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean As­so­ci­a­tion of Aerospace In­dus­tries (AECMA) from 1994 to 1997, Chief Ar­ma­ments En­gi­neer (re­serve corps), a grad­u­ate of the Cen­tre de per­fec­tion­nement des af­faires busi­ness school and a for­mer au­di­tor of the pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tive es­tab­lish­ment In­sti­tut des Hautes Études de Défense Na­tionale (IHEDN), Serge Das­sault was also awarded the Aero­nau­tics Medal and be­came a grand of­fi­cer of the Le­gion of Hon­our.

Beyond his po­si­tion as a CEO, the em­ploy­ees of Das­sault Avi­a­tion salute his pas­sion for aero­nau­tics, his hu­man vi­sion of en­trepreneur­ship and the re­lent­less sup­port he pro­vided, as a ma­jor­ity stake­holder, to the Com­pany’s strat­egy. Such pas­sion, hu­man vi­sion and man­age­ment sta­bil­ity are the core strengths of Das­sault Avi­a­tion and will re­main so to­mor­row.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.