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RUAG Holding Ltd
IndustryAerospace engineering and defense industry
PredecessorEidgenössische Konstruktionswerkstätte
Eidgenössische Flugzeugwerke Emmen
Founded1 January 1999; 21 years ago (1 January 1999)
Area served
Key people
Dr. Remo Lütolf (Chairman)[1]
Urs Breitmeier(CEO)[2]
ProductsAll kind of technical products from ammunition to satellite equipment
RevenueIncrease CH₣ 2,003 million[3] (2019)
Decrease CH₣ -7 million[3] (2019)
Decrease CH₣ -25 million[3] (2019)
OwnerSwiss Confederation
Number of employees
9,091[3] (2019)
SubsidiariesRUAG MRO International
RUAG International

RUAG Holding (originally Rüstungs Unternehmen Aktiengesellschaft; Joint Stock Defense Company) is a Swiss company specialising in aerospace engineering and the defense industry. Its headquarters are located in Bern, while it also has numerous production sites in Switzerland (Nyon, Aigle, Thun, Bern, Emmen, Altdorf, Zürich and Interlaken), Germany (Oberpfaffenhofen, Hamburg Wedel and Fürth), Sweden (Gothenburg, Linköping and Åmotfors), Hungary (Sirok, Eger), Austria (Vienna, Berndorf) and United States (Tampa and Titusville), and sales companies in Australia, UK, France, Belgium, Brazil and Malaysia.


Background and initial years[edit]

During the 1990s, the government of Switzerland decided that the nation's military enterprises needed to be restructured, a view which led to the passing of the Federal Act on Federal Armaments Companies (FArmCA) in 1997.[4] In accordance with this act, a new entity, known as RUAG Switzerland Ltd, was established to bring together four former state-run enterprises: SE Schweizerische Elektronikunternehmung AG, SF Schweizerische Unternehmung für Flugzeuge und Systeme AG, SM Schweizerische Munitionsunternehmung AG, and SW Schweizerische Unternehmung für Waffensysteme AG. Prior to this merger, these companies were comprehensively restructured with the intention of making them competitive commercial enterprises. RUAG formally commenced operations on 1 January 1999.[4]

Even prior to its establishment, RUAG was confronted by a severe challenge in the form of dwindling orders from the Swiss Armed Forces due to post-Cold War defense cuts having greatly diminished military spending.[4] Recognising its overdependence on the Swiss military, which initially accounted for 86 percent of RUAG's sales, the company adopted a long-term strategy of diversification, progressively expanding its activities in the military and civil sectors both inside Switzerland and on the global market. This expansion went beyond only organic growth, necessitating numerous acquisitions, often focused in specific fields, such as aircraft and helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO); command, information and communication systems; simulation and training systems; and small-calibre ammunition.[4]

Positive results were soon achieved. During 2000, RUAG's Aerospace division reported 39 per cent growth in sales on the third-party market, which were generated from various programmes of aircraft manufacturers, including Airbus, Boeing and Pilatus. Other business included MRO services to foreign Northrop F-5 fighter aircraft, repair work on AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles for the United States Air Force and production of payload fairings for the US's Atlas V launch vehicle.[4] RUAG's Land Systems division was also had optimism in the civilian sector, performing component assembly for injection moulding machines used in compact disc production. By the end of 2001, RUAG had reached a turning point, reporting 8 per cent overall growth for that financial year despite a sustained decline in the domestic defence sector; these gains were achieved upon the international market, particularly within the civilian sector.[4]

RUAG was negatively impacted by the Great Recession that started during 2008, soon thereafter reporting a significant drop in orders from the civilian sector, particularly for aerostructures and MRO services, as well as its automotive and semiconductor interests. Consolidated profit was hit by CHF 160 million of write-downs, causing a negative EBIT of CHF 113 million – the first deficit recorded in RUAG's operational history.[4] Around this time, RUAG made a strategic move into the space industry, which had been previously a tiny area of the business. In 2008, it acquired Saab Space and its subsidiary Austrian Aerospace; during the following year, RUAG also bought the Oerlikon Space AG, and subsequently created its RUAG Space division, Europe's largest independent space supplier.[4]


By 2010, RUAG's aviation division comprised three core areas: military MRO, business aviation, and special mission aircraft; of these, business aviation reportedly suffered a downturn following the Great Recession.[5] The company made efforts to bolster its business aviation activities, focusing on providing MRO services to end users.[6] In 2019, RUAG decided to sell its business aviation facilities in Geneva and Lugano to Dassault Aviation; the company stated that it was part of a strategic alignment, instead concentrating resources on its aerostructures and space programmes.[7]

RUAG has progressively expanded the range of military aircraft that it provides MRO services for. During 2012, it competed against EADS to provide aircraft support services to the German military.[8] In 2014, the company partnered with Finnish firm Patria to offer MRO services to McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet operators worldwide.[9] During the 2010s, RUAG performed a major modernisation of the Swiss Air Force's Airbus Helicopters AS332 Super Puma helicopter fleet, and has subsequently promoted this capability for other operators.[10]

During the 2010s, RUAG Aerostructures became a tier-one supplier of aircraft fuselage sections, wing components, flaps, and other elements for both civilian and military aircraft.[11][12] It is a long-term supplier to aerospace giant Airbus, having delivered in excess of 9,000 Airbus A320 family fuselage sections by January 2020. On 19 December 2019, the two companies concluded a six-year arrangement for RUAG to manufacture the center fuselage section, flooring and side shells of the A320 at a rate of 60 sections per month at its plants in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany; Eger, Hungary; and Emmen, Switzerland.[11] In addition to its work for Airbus, other customers of RUAG Aerostructures include Boeing, Bombardier Aviation, Dassault Aviation, GE Aviation, Pilatus Aircraft, and Saab AB.[11]

Do 228NG[edit]

The main outside change of the 228NG is the five bladed propeller

During 2003, RUAG acquired the type certificate for the Dornier Do 228.[13] In December 2007, RUAG announced its intention to launch a modernized version of the Do 228, which it designated as the Do 228 Next Generation, or Do 228 NG.[14][15][16] At the 2008 Berlin Air Show, HAL agreed to supply the first three component sets — fuselage, wings and tail — for €5 million, as a part of an €80 million ($123 million) ten-year contract.[17] Final assembly for the aircraft is performed in Germany; however, most airframe subassemblies, such as the wings, tail and fuselage, are produced by HAL in India.[15][18][19] RUAG decided to suspend production of the Do 228 NG after the completion of an initial batch of eight aircraft in 2013. In 2014, RUAG and Tata Group signed an agreement for the latter to become a key supplier of the program.[20] Production was restarted in 2015, with deliveries of four per year planned from 2016.[21][22] the assembly line is reportedly capable of producing a maximum of 12 aircraft per year.[23]


The RUAG has the following operational divisions:




  1. ^ "Board of Directors". RUAG.
  2. ^ "Group Executive Board". RUAG.
  3. ^ a b c d "Financial Year 2019". RUAG.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "20 years of RUAG" (PDF). RUAG. April 2018.
  5. ^ Morrison, Murdo (28 September 2010). "Switzerland: Ruag focuses on growth markets of aviation and space". Flight International.
  6. ^ Sarsfield, Kate (9 March 2010). "Ruag boosts business aircraft refurbishment activity". Flight International.
  7. ^ Gubisch, Michael (3 July 2019). "Dassault buys Ruag's Swiss business aircraft operations". Flight International.
  8. ^ O’Keeffe, Niall (12 September 2012). "ILA: Ruag vies with EADS to support German military". Flight International.
  9. ^ Hoyle, Craig (17 March 2014). "Patria, Ruag step-up F-18 support offer". Flight International.
  10. ^ Hoyle, Craig (15 June 2015). "PARIS: RUAG showcases Swiss precision in military MRO". Flight International.
  11. ^ a b c Polek, Gregory (12 February 2020). "Ruag and Airbus Confirm Supply Deal for A320". AIN Online.
  12. ^ "New RUAG line to build Airbus fuselage". Flight International. 13 June 2005.
  13. ^ Alcock, Charles. "Ruag Do228NG approval planned for first quarter." AIN Online, 28 December 2009.
  14. ^ Eriksson, Sören and Harm-Jan Steenhuis. The Global Commercial Aviation Industry. Routledge, 2015. ISBN 1-13667-239-7, pp.59–62, 241.
  15. ^ a b Thomas Stocker (28 December 2007). "Ruag to relaunch Do 228 production". AIN online.
  16. ^ Doyle, Andrew. "Surprise rebirth." Flight International, 19 May 2008.
  17. ^ Press Trust of India (5 June 2008). "HAL signs deal for making new generation Dornier aircraft". The Economic Times.
  18. ^ "Dornier 228 NG – Benefit from a New Generation." Archived 2016-03-01 at the Wayback Machine RUAG Aviation, Retrieved: 27 February 2016.
  19. ^ Sarsfield, Kate. "Back to life: nine civil types revived." Flight International, 27 March 2015.
  20. ^ Alcock, Charles. "Ruag to Kick Off Dornier 228NG Production in Mid-2016." AIN Online, 13 February 2016.
  21. ^ Broadbent, Mike. "RUAG Resumes Do 228NG Production". Air International, Vol. 89, No. 2, August 2015, p. 35.
  22. ^ Arthur, Gordon. "Singapore Airshow: Do 228 production ramps up." Shephard Media, 22 February 2016.
  23. ^ Batey, Angus. "RUAG, Dornier OEM, Sets Up 228 Production." Aviation Week, 15 June 2015.

External links[edit]