Home >> December 2008 Edition >> YIR: RUAG Aerospace
YIR: RUAG Aerospace
by Peter Scherrer, Executive V.P., Space

2008: In general, RUAG Aerospace' peformance during 2008 was very intense. We see a continued good order intake and we work on a number of new prospects with good probability like Kopernikus (GMES) and the procurement of a full Galileo constellation. We also see a good inflow of commercial contracts.

RUAG acquired Saab Space and Austrian Aerospace during 2008. What were the major reasons for this acquisition? Space was declared as a priority area in RUAG's Strategy 2010. By purchasing Saab Space and Austrian Aerospace, RUAG is strengthening its position in the space business. The aim is to combine the three companies’ strengths and expertise to form one strong business unit for space within RUAG Aerospace. The acquisition also meets the expectations of our owner, the Swiss Confederation.

The merger of SAAB Space, Austrian Aerospace, and RUAG Space will enable RUAG to complement its own space portfolio with new technologies and products and to establish itself as a leading European equipment provider in the worldwide space market. We will be able to offer our customers more efficient solutions and we will stay an independent, highly qualified equipment supplier. We believe this gives us the largest possible customer base.

On the European institutional market, politics do have an important impact. By merging our companies across the three countries Austria, Switzerland, and Sweden, we are strengthening our position vis-à-vis ESA. This will lead to more interesting, larger projects. Together, our three countries account for more than 7 percent of ESA’s total budget. The merger also makes good sense on the commercial market.

Regarding any additional acquisitions, the Company is now in an analysis phase in order to better understand each other’s businesses, products, and processes of the businesses just acquired. We will also establish the future organizational structure. We should not take any further steps before a new, stable, working organisation is in place. After that, we’ll see if new opportunities show up.

Our Swedish subsidiary, former Saab Space, celebrated their separation system use # 400 when NIMIQ-4 was launched on a PROTON Breeze-M on September 19th, confirming their leadership in the area.

The Swedish company also received a mark of honour from ESA for their excellent performance in the Galileo satellite navigation project. They delivered the signal generator for the GIOVE-B test satellite together with their partners from the Austrian branch of the group on record time. This, together with deliveries for the four IOV satellites, is a good base for winning orders for the full constellation of 30 satellites over the next six months. RUAG in Switzerland also confirmed its world leading position in slip-rings for Solar Array Drive Mechanisms by winning contracts for supplies to Alphabus and Globalstar satellites.

We also note some small but rather interesting projects for the future in the microwave area in India and in Japan. Small but important first steps!

In Austria, former Austrian Aerospace has achieved a breakthrough by winning contracts for delivery of GPS Receivers for all three Sentinel satellites of the ESA/EC Kopernikus program for global monitoring for environment and security. These innovative receivers will allow determining the orbit of the satellites with extremely high precision. The planned follow-on satellites of this program, represent further business opportunities.

In Switzerland, RUAG Aerospace developed and manufactured the hardware for the European Exposure Facility EXPOSE-E and for its Russian sister experiment EXPOSE-R, interfacing with the Russian ISS module and carrying a larger number of experiments. These are two highly important missions in the area of astrobiology. The reliability of RUAG’s hardware will be demonstrated in more than 1,300 scientific tests and underline its growing position in the market.

2009: It is important that the employees at the different sites quickly find good and efficient ways of working together. People in seven facilities in three countries need to become one lean unit. We all have a good feeling about it. We think that our cultures and common basis being small, highly focused technology experts in small countries will play out well.

About the company
RUAG is a registered corporation whose holding company is in Berne, Switzerland, with production sites in Switzerland, Germany, and Sweden. As a technology group we concentrate on three markets: Aviation and Space, Defence and Security, Ammunition and Products. We are a leading supplier and integrator of systems and components for civilian and military aerospace applications. RUAG Aerospace Ltd. and its sister companies, RUAG Ammotec Ltd., RUAG Electronics Ltd. and RUAG Land Systems Ltd., together form a 1 billion US$ holding company. We are an aerospace company with headquarters in Emmen, 13 other sites in Switzerland and two in Germany. Just under 3,100 employees achieve an annual turnover of 550 million US$. Our principal activities are product development, manufacturing, assembly and the servicing of structural components plus maintenance and upgrades on aircraft, helicopters, UAV, missiles and air-defence systems.