| Staff writer 248 mots

Dassault looks to Rafale as bizjet market stalls

Dassault has announced its results for 2016, marked by the sale of 36 Rafales to India in the company’s centenary year. Highlights on the business aviation side included the EASA/FAA certification and first delivery of the Falcon 8X, but sales dropped, as economic uncertainty continued to weigh down the market. No significant improvement in market conditions is expected in the coming year.

The company reported adjusted net sales of €3.6bn (–14%), and adjusted net income slipped 20%, to $384m. Order intake was slightly down, at €9.6bn, including €8.1bn on the military side. The Indian Rafale order boosted the overall order backlog by 43%, to €20.3bn.

Six Rafales were delivered to France and three to Egypt, along with two naval Rafales retrofitted to the F3 standard for the French Navy.

A total of 21 Falcon bizjets were ordered during the year (net of 12 Falcon 5X cancellations due to delays with the Silvercrest engine), compared with 25 net orders in 2015. 49 Falcons were delivered, compared with 55 in 2015.

Ground and flight testing of the modified Silvercrest engine is due to get under way in 2017.

2016 also saw the launch of the company’s transformation plan, designed to prepare the company for the future “in an increasingly unpredictable and competitive environment”. The transformation — involving a reorganisation of production sites and the introduction of new digital tools and processes — is designed to improve competitiveness and help pave the way for the launch of a new Falcon aircraft.

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