Dassault Systèmes: the modernization of defense

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Dassault Systèmes is at the forefront of defense modernization. With 25 million users across 11 industries worldwide, the French corporation is committed to driving innovation and empowering its customers to operate in new ways.

As a trusted partner, Dassault Systèmes enables governments, defense agencies, defense OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and a range of other companies to take full advantage of modern technology in order to be more time and cost-efficient.

But part of being an industry leader is recognizing that the defense sector has its challenges, not least the fact that it is investment intensive. Its variable nature also presents specific hurdles to overcome. According to Dassault Systèmes, for decades the industry has frequently struggled to meet the investment required to deal with new conflicts. Each time, new parameters, threats and requirements have arisen, forcing governments and companies to tackle unexpected situations.

Dassault Systèmes says that, with modern and cutting-edge digital innovations, the industry and the armed forces can better anticipate, prepare for, and react to the unavoidable changes required by a robust defense. It asserts that, as threats and challenges change and progress, defense modernization is vital to protecting lives and interests.

David Ziegler, Vice President of Aerospace and Defense at Dassault Systèmes, says: “Modern threats require, at the same time, the further sophistication of defense systems and a higher degree of collaboration between different defense actors. The innovation budget required for developing these more complex systems of systems are in direct competition with the growing cost of maintaining existing assets in operations.”

A new experience

So, what’s the solution? Ziegler points to the 3DEXPERIENCE. Developed by Dassault Systèmes, he says that “by using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, OEMs and defense forces can lower their costs of operations and develop a modular system of system architecture for new programs, enabling both innovation and integration of future and existing assets in a common referential”.

To understand just what the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is all about, it’s necessary to first take a step back and consider the concept of digital mission engineering.

Put simply, digital mission engineering combines digital modeling, simulation, testing and analysis to evaluate mission outcomes at each stage of a product or system’s life cycle. Ultimately, the mission’s plans are fully developed and put into operation.

Over the past few decades, digital tools have enabled the engineering of products and systems to become faster, more cost effective, and lower in risk. At Dassault, by engineering the mission with the same concepts and tools that it has applied to systems and products, the company can realize many of the same efficiencies and benefits.

Dassault Systèmes says that the relevance of mission engineering doesn’t just apply to new systems: it is equally important for aging systems as they are reverse engineered to extend their life and usefulness for future missions.


In operation since 2012, the 3DEXPERIENCE is described as “a collaborative environment that empowers businesses to innovate in entirely new ways”. In essence, it provides organizations with a holistic, real-time view of their business activity and ecosystem, connecting people, ideas, data, and solutions together in a single environment.

Via the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, Dassault Systèmes tailors solutions to each of its partner industries, including defense. The platform also acts as a marketplace, or trading platform, that connects service providers and buyers.

Dubbed a “game-changer for business and innovation”, the 3DEXPERIENCE is the only platform that is both a system of operations to run a business and a business model to transform a business.

Dassault Systèmes is confident that the platform’s simulation capabilities enable teams to consider significantly more trade space alternatives in a fraction of the time while, at the same time, having confidence in the most promising capabilities, technologies, and operational alternatives. At any point in the design maturity, an assessment of the system’s ability to meet the mission requirements is validated through virtual and minimal physical testing. 

What else?

The platform manages structured and unstructured data, but it also connects to the virtual world of engineering and the real world of operating and maintaining aircraft through a Virtual Twin Experience. In a nutshell, this virtual experience is a natural extension of the digital model of the aircraft. It provides customers with data into an actionable context, and it feeds maintenance algorithms by leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence. Put another way, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform provides cradle-to-grave Virtual Twin Experience technology for the defense industry. 

As Dassault Systèmes knows, delivery of the right level of mission performance is not only about the design and production of the system, it’s also dependent on the operations and support of the system throughout its life.

Looking to the future

By producing a physics-based Virtual Twin Experience, Dassault Systèmes is offering a digital heartbeat for an entire asset. As was mentioned earlier, one of the most encouraging potential solutions is the use of Dassault Systèmes’ data-driven 3DEXPERIENCE platform to reverse engineer aging defense assets, thereby addressing the issues surrounding assets likely to remain in service for many years to come, including challenges of readiness and airworthiness.

But, at the end of the day, consider this: the Virtual Twin Experience closes the gap between the virtual and physical worlds through the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

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