By Olga Ruzhelneyk
On June, 21th, 2017, on the third day of the 52nd International Paris Air Show, Défense Conseil International (DCI) invited EDR journalists for a press conference dedicated to the celebration of its 45th birthday. The conference was held by the chairman and CEO of DCI Jean-Michel Palagos with a presence of Deputy CEO Julia Maris, Director of DCI-COFRAS Patrick Tanguy, Director of Henri Rouby, Director of Innovation Armelle Le Veu Seroude, and Director of Communication Karine Leprêtre.
Mr Palagos presented to the journalists the evolution of DCI over the last 45 years and the digital transformation of the company towards new training methods. It was shown that DCI became the reference operator for the transfer of the French armed forces’ know-how to international partners, offering services that are certified “French Forces Training”. DCI operates several international training centres in France and has its headquarters in Paris. Moreover, due to its capacity-based approach, DCI provides countries friendly with France with customized solutions for personnel training and equipment maintenance. Thus, it is also based in the Middle-East (Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar) and in Asia (Malaysia and Singapore).
Over the course of last years, DCI has been developing increasingly innovative solutions for companies in the defense sector. DCI is focusing on the key issues, like supporting the upsurge in the innovation division’s activities: training engineering (digital learning), cyber defense, airborne surveillance, UAVs, military healthcare, oil logistics and European and international institutions.
“It has been an extraordinary adventure for DCI. The company was born 45 years ago in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom bought a considerable number of AMX-30 battle tanks from our Army. Saudi Arabia required not only the delivery of those tanks, but as well training its crew handling and maintenance of these vehicles. And that is when the brilliant idea appeared to create COFRAS (Compagnie Française d’Assistance Spécialisée) under the auspices of the French State, which later became DCI. Ever since it has become a guidance line for DCI – providing French know-how to the countries that are friendly with France. For 45 years, DCI has been offering consulting, training and assistance in all aspects of defense and security services”, said Mr. Palagos.
Answering the questions asked throughout the press conference, Mr. Palagos and other members of the DCI board explained that all their training centers, even though some are located abroad and in different countries, do not compete with each other, but work in synergy. The company cherishes the idea of promoting NATO standards to non-NATO members in the best way possible. In order to achieve this goal, DCI have significantly invested in innovative and modern learning tools and facilities and has put in place new ways to develop its activities. Self-improvement plays a very important role for DCI: the innovation department have been created as an internal start-ups incubator to offer innovative activities a positive environment and anticipate issues that might occur. The assumption here is clear – “Creativity suggests liberty”, as Mr Palagos summarised.
DCI celebrates 100,000 EC120 flight hours and the creation of the CIF-H
By Joseph Roukoz
DCI, created 43 years ago, is a company which puts at the disposal of France’s friendly countries, the know-how of the French army and that of the Direction Générale de l’Armement, whether in the fields of education, training and operational readiness, as well as in advising for procurement of equipment or even more for the overhaul and operational readiness preparation of military equipment.
Helidax, a subsidiary of DCI and INAER Helicopter France, altogether with the EALAT Dax Army Aviation school celebrated today a major event as the school logged its 100,000 hours of flight on the Airbus Helicopter EC120 Colibri, in their Calliope configuration. This outstanding performance was carried out in only five years of operations, and thanks to the support of the Helidax company which has been able to ensure a high availability of its rotorcraft fleet.
Out of a 36 helicopter fleet, Helidax puts on hand immediately, every morning, 32 machines available simultaneously for students of the EALAT, with a 100 percent of the means requested by the school regularly. Since May 2010, Helidax participated in the training of more than 500 student pilots and instructors, all hailing from various branches of the French and Belgian Armies, as well as from Niger.
In a press conference at the DCI headquarters, President and CEO of DCI and president of Hélidax Jean-Michel Palagos stated: « As the first public-private partnership launched by the Ministry of defence in 2008, Helidax has shown all its relevance, moreover we today respond perfectly to the French State’s expectations ». In total harmony and collaboration with the French Army, Air Force and Navy “our fleet of helicopters, equipped with a digital cockpit, allows students to prepare for the interfaces of modern helicopters. We are very pleased with this success and we now can glimpse at the future with optimism. “
Among the various news given by Mr. Palagos during his press conference is the setting up of the Centre international de formation hélicoptères (CIF-H) which called for the procurement of three additional helicopters.
The mission of this new centre, located on the sites of the EALAT in Dax and in le Luc-en-Provence — even if the central database remains clearly in Dax — is to transfer all of the French EALAT’s know-how to friendly countries of France. The CIF-H curricula are taught either in English or French and in partnership with the Army Aviation (ALAT) and Helidax.
Helidax is today contractually committed, under the public-private partnership signed with the Ministry of Defence, to provide priority for the French Armed Forces the flying hours necessary for their training. As the needs of the CIF-H only could be honoured up to two-thirds of the requirements (approximately 2000 hours of flight for 2016). DCI decided to acquire three additional EC120 aircraft, and to upgrade them to then the same standard as those of Helidax, « for the sake of homogenization », the President and CEO said.