The happiest man of French industry in 2013 could be Eric Trappier, 52, president of Dassault Aviation since January 9. The sale of the Rafale to India (126 units for approximately $ 15 billion) is expected this year, as all seem to announce the formal and informal indicators. This agreement should give a nice workload for the French Dassault, Thales and Safran. The first 18 aircraft of this market will be assembled in the factory Merignac.
François Hollande's visit to New Delhi and Mumbai, the 14 and 15 February, five days after the Aero India in Bangalore, should give a political framework for the industrial agreement and establish a long-term strategic partnership between France and Asian giant. "Our technical and commercial approach, and visiting the president's political demonstrate a comprehensive understanding," said Eric Trappier. Edelstenne, who gave him orders in January and Serge Dassault were also in Bangalore, with three Rafale Air Force.
The conclusion of this contract was to "boost" the Rafale from Dassault other major prospects: United Arab Emirates - "The ball is in their court" - Brazil - "A call that lasts" - Switzerland - "We'll see ..." - or Malaysia, Qatar, Canada. Eric Trappier is confident: "The Indian factor will give ideas to others. '
Success - first export contract for the Rafale - would be a just reward for "Dassault boy" ever since. Came in 1984 to 24 years in this house who always create the greatest loyalty, telecom engineer that has gone through all stages of a career devoted to the sale of the "most beautiful aircraft in the world", the Mirage and Rafale.
"Our immediate priority is to sell the Rafale and Falcon," repeats Eric Trappier.
In his vast office in Saint-Cloud, quai Marcel Dassault-this impassioned history and geopolitics has installed a large world map, market, "Sell, sell ..." Another concern: maintaining skills and the ability to cooperation. This is possible with the drones, which the French army was much needed. The nEUROn UCAV demonstrator which made its first flight on December 1, developed by France and five other European countries: "It demonstrates that it is not necessary to merge with other companies to cooperate intelligently. '
Eric Trappier knows the Indian market, where he has worked since 1993. Some of the officials with whom he had treated occupy high positions, "Customer satisfaction historical Matters. It helps ... "In 2007, at the launch of the competition for the Rafale, he was Managing Director International. India or the United Arab Emirates, where he was responsible in 1995, "the day of the birth of [his] third child," it was a good school, under the authority of Edelstenne: "We ' no choice. Patience is a virtue. It pays. "He repeated to journalists and policy with the same sweet smile, hazel eyes hardly darker when he raises his voice and gets the ball image hedgehog, his favorite animal.
Dassault Aviation patient since January 2012, when India announced its preference for the Rafale, at the expense of the Eurofighter Typhoon (BAE Systems, EADS, Finmeccanica). The commitment of the Rafale operations gave additional credibility to this versatile, unique. "This aircraft first entered to inform and hitting is the logic of all conflicts, even asymmetric said Eric Trappier. Speed of action and strike capability, independently, are key assets. '
Passing in Paris recently, the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Salman Khurshid, was clear: "Good French wines take time to mature, it is the same for good deeds. Wait a little jump the plug and you have a good wine to taste. "His colleague defense was reassuring:" The Rafale will not be affected by budget cuts in sight. '
Dassault, one remains calm: "The need is the decision. "This is especially true for India, who carefully observes the rise of China and Pakistan. His Air Force must also replenish its fleet degraded by the accidental loss of 33 combat aircraft between 2008 and March 2012. But the wait is long. Last November, the Indian ambassador in Paris spoke of "three to four months."
"No crowing, there is still much to be done," warns Eric Trappier saying expect a decision by the end of the first half, before the start of the campaign for the May 2014 parliamentary Indian: "We did half the way to industrial agreements. We must succeed for the Indian market, with military budgets inevitably reduced the pressure on the Rafale program in France will be strong. '
This contract also commit to Dassault fifteen or twenty years: "It sizes the future of the Rafale. "Indian negotiators have discussed slices additional wear to the initial order of 189 Rafale. Dassault Aviation will continue to produce and update its aircraft for at least two decades, Thales which he is a shareholder: "We will remain an active partner with the state in a strategic relationship. In the future, we will give it time. '
Eric Trappier familiar teams at work. Loïc Segalen, the chief operating officer, his age, joined Dassault at age 22, he formed a tandem operating both legitimate and reassuring for employees: "We work in total mutual trust. "The stable ownership and trust Edelstenne today with Serge Dassault, make things easier. Trappier Edelstenne see themselves and one to two times per week.
They are very attentive to the forthcoming White Paper on defense: "The defense industry is creating jobs and technologies. It will take the next fiscal efforts are to meet these challenges. '