Dassault Moving Ahead With SMS?

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A Canadian landing-gear manufacturer may have spilled the beans that Dassault is moving forward with a new business jet design. Montreal-based Heroux-Devtek announced to the Canadian Press last week that it had won a contract to design, build and help certify gear for the as-yet unannounced bizjet. "It's a recognition by another world leader that Heroux-Devtek can design, develop and build aircraft landing gear so it's a great win for us," company CEO Gilles Labbe told CP. Dassault has not yet confirmed the project but it's likely a revival of the super midsize SMS project that was announced in 2007 and shelved in 2009.

The SMS would compete in the $20 million to $30 million bracket and is a replacement for the out-of-production Falcon 50. Aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia, of the Teal Group, said the announcement is another indication that a long-awaited recovery is coming and called the contract a "nice win" for Heroux-Devtek, which has earned several prestigious deals recently. It will build the gear for the Learjet 85, Embraer Legacy 450 and 550 as well as Sikorsky's CH-53K heavy lift helicopter.