SAO PAULO, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Of all European companies hoping to work with Brazil to exploit Latin America's burgeoning defense market, Dassault Falcon is most upbeat about future growth in collaboration with the regional leader in arms industries.
Part of France's Dassault Aviation, a major contender in Brazil's multibillion-dollar F-X2 fighter competition, Dassault Falcon is aiming to expand its market share in the Central and South America region and sees Brazil as the ideal partner.
This is part of the overall strategy of Dassault Aviation, already active in more than 70 countries and aiming to expand in the Western Hemisphere.
Dassault Aviation produces the Rafale fighter jet as well as the complete line of Falcon business jets. The company has assembly and production plants in France and the United States and service facilities on multiple continents. It employs a total workforce of more than 12,000.
Since the rollout of the first Falcon 20 in 1963, a total of 2,000 Falcon jets has been delivered to customers in 67 countries. The family of Falcon jets in production includes the tri-jets -- the Falcon 900EX EASy, 900LX, and the 7X -- as well as the twin-engine Falcon 2000LX and 2000S.
Dassault Falcon predicted Brazil could become one of the fastest growing business aviation markets. Embraer, the leading aircraft manufacturer in Brazil, has unveiled plans for developing business jets as well as military aircraft and unmanned craft.
Dassault Falcon, which owns more than 60 percent of the large cabin business jet category in Brazil, expects market share to continue to grow as 13 new Falcons are delivered in Brazil over the next five years.
"Dassault Falcon delivered the first Falcon in Brazil over 30 years ago and opened our first office here 15 years ago," Dassault Falcon President and Chief Executive Officer John Rosanvallon said at the 2010 Latin American Business Aviation conference and exhibition in Sao Paulo.
That commitment grew when the company became the first foreign aircraft manufacturer to open a service center in Brazil.
The facility in Sorocaba, in Sao Paulo state, offers maintenance and service for Falcon jets and boasts a "Go Team" that provides rapid mobile response directly to aircraft anywhere in South America, with the parts and tools necessary to get a Falcon flying with minimal delay.
Dassault Falcon sees growth in commercial jet business as part of its strategy to make Brazilians comfortable with its aircraft and service, the ultimate prize still being the Rafale fighter winning the F-X2 order for more than 36 of the fighter jets.
Rafale is in competition with Boeing's F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet and Saab's JAS-39 Gripen NG.
Brazil is expected to announce its choice in 2012.