Dassault Aviation (French pronunciation: [daso]; Euronext: AM) is a French aircraft manufacturer of military, regional and business jets, a subsidiary of Dassault Group.
It was founded in 1930 by Marcel Bloch as Société des Avions Marcel Bloch or "MB". After World War II, Marcel Bloch changed his name to Marcel Dassault, and the name of the company was changed to Avions Marcel Dassault on 20 December 1947. In 1971, Dassault acquired Breguet, forming Avions Marcel Dassault-Breguet Aviation (AMD-BA). In 1990, the company was renamed Dassault Aviation.
The Société des Avions Marcel Bloch was founded by Marcel Bloch in 1930. In 1935 Bloch and Henry Potez entered into an agreement to buy Société Aérienne Bordelaise (SAB), subsequently renamed Société Aéronautique du Sud-Ouest. In 1936 the arms industry in France was nationalised as the Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Sud-Ouest (SNCASO). Marcel Bloch was asked to act as delegated administrator of the Minister for Air.
During the occupation of France the country's aviation industry was virtually disbanded. Marcel Bloch was imprisoned by the Vichy government in October 1940. In 1944 Bloch was deported to the Buchenwald concentration camp by the German occupiers where he remained until it was liberated on 11 April 1945.
On 10 November 1945 at an extraordinary general meeting of the Société Anonyme des Avions Marcel Bloch the company voted to change its form to a limited liability entity, Société des Avions Marcel Bloch, which was to be a holding company. On 20 January 1947 Société des Avions Marcel Bloch became Société des Avions Marcel Dassault to reflect the name adopted by its owner.
In 1954 Dassault established an electronics division (by 1962 named Electronique Marcel Dassault), the first action of which was to begin development of airborne radars, soon followed by seeker heads for air-to-air missiles, navigation and bombing aids. From the 1950s to late 1970s exports become a major part of Dassault’s business, major successes were the Dassault Mirage series and the Mystere-Falcon. The average rate in the period 1952-1977 was 58%.
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