RUAG Space

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RUAG Space
Joint-stock company
IndustrySpace technology
Key people
CEO Peter Guggenbach
  • Increase 365 Mio. CHF (2017)
  • 300 Mio. CHF (2016)
  • 283 Mio. CHF (2010)
Number of employees
1350 (2017) Edit this on Wikidata
Footnotes / references

RUAG Space is the Space Division of the Swiss technology group RUAG. At a total of fourteen sites in Switzerland (Zurich, Emmen and Nyon), Sweden (Gothenburg, Linköping), Finland (Tampere), Germany (Coswig), USA (Denver, Titusville, Santa Clara, Decatur) and Austria (Vienna, Berndorf). RUAG Space employs around 1,350 people and posted sales of 365 million Swiss Francs in 2017.[1]


The RUAG space activities had their roots at the site of Emmen, Switzerland, in the late 1970s when the company started to carry out the final assembly of payload fairings for Ariane rockets as a subcontractor of Oerlikon Contraves (later named Oerlikon Space). Primarily through acquisitions RUAG expanded its space business continuously. First, the Swiss government owned company took over the companies Mecanex (Nyon) and HTS (Wallisellen). In 2008, RUAG acquired the Swedish SAAB Space and its subsidiary Austrian Aerospace. In 2009, RUAG finally bought Oerlikon Space AG, the largest Swiss space company at that time. With the acquiring of Oerlikon Space AG, the Space Division was founded under the name RUAG Space.

RUAG Space[edit]

In the following years RUAG Space was expanding further, so that in 2015 a site in Tampere, Finland was acquired. Following Tampere in the same year RUAG Space set its first feet on a new continent, so that in the USA another side could be opened. During 2016 the HTS GmbH in Coswig near Dresden could be acquired as the first Space site in Germany. After two year consolidation period the name was re-branded to the RUAG Space Germany GmbH.

Company structure and sites[edit]

RUAG Space is a division of the Swiss technology group RUAG, with locations in Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Germany, the USA and Austria.

The Swiss space activities are part of the RUAG Schweiz AG a subsidiary of the RUAG Holding AG. The 517 employees are working in sites in Zurich, Emmen and Nyon.

All activities in the other sites and countries are organized in dedicated companies.

The Swedish site organized in the RUAG Space AB holds on to 332 employees in the site of Gothenburg and 120 employees in Linköping and holding to the two subsidiaries in Austria and Finland. RUAG Space AB specializes in related equipment, for example on-board computer systems, antennas and microwave electronics for satellites and adapters and separation systems for launchers. The company headquarters is located in Gothenborg, Sweden and a division for mechanical systems is situated in Linköping, Sweden. The company has 415 employees (May 2015). It was originally started as a joint venture between SAAB and Ericsson as Saab Ericsson Space until Ericsson sold its stake to SAAB together with Saab Microwave Systems in 2006.[2]

In Austria the RUAG Space GmbH employees in total 251 employees in two sites in Vienna and Berndorf.

Since 2015 the finish RUAG Space Finland is situated in Tampere and has 40 employees.

Getting intercontinental in 2015 RUAG Space USA already acquired 4 sites in 4 different states. As a direct subsidiary to the RUAG Holding AG 109 employees are working in the sites in Decatur, Alabama; Titusville, Florida; Denver (Centennial), Colorado and Santa Clara, California,

The German company RUAG Space Germany GmbH is like the sites in USA and Finland a subsidiary of the RUAG Holding AG and employees in her site in Coswig 39 employees.

Employee numbers from August 2018.


The main focus of the portfolio of RUAG Space is the development and manufacturing of assemblies for satellites and launchers. RUAG Space - one of the five division of RUAG – is divided in three Product Groups. This Product Groups structure RUAG Space in its three main focus areas: Electronics, Launchers and Spacecraft.

Resulting in its origin in Europe, RUAG Space was part of any European space missions, but solidified its appearance on the US market too.  Herschel, Planck, SMOS, BepiColombo, Galileo, Solar Orbiter, ATV, Aeolus or ICESat2 are only some of the many missions RUAG Space supplied crucial parts and technology. Besides the satellite and probe market, RUAG Space is a well known supplier to launcher systems like Ariane 5, Vega, Falcon 9 and Atlas.

Some specific products, such as slip rings or thermal insulation are offered also to non space customers

Product Group Electronics[edit]

Under this Product Group everything that RUAG Space does in the space electronic field is clustered. This is among other systems, flight computers for satellites and launch vehicle, GPS Navigation receiver and signal processors, power and drive electronics, as well as microwave electronics and antennas.

Product Group Launchers[edit]

The Product Group Launchers produces the most recognizable parts of RUAG Space: the payload fairing. Besides the payload fairing RUAG Space is manufacturing the Payload Adapter Systems and also guidance computers for sounding rockets

Product Group Spacecraft[edit]

The Product Group Spacecraft contains all mechanical and thermal products, that are used on satellites. This include Satellite structures and mechanisms, the Mechanical Ground Support Equipment (MGSE), Slip Rings as well thermal systems like insulation (MLI - Multi Layer Insulation) and heaters

Payload Fairing[edit]

The most famous product of RUAG Space might be the payload fairing, that are manufactured for the Ariane rocket of Arianespace. Those rockets are used by the European Space Agency ESA.

Additionally to the Ariane Payload Fairing, RUAG Space is producing the Fairing of the Vega Rocket, that is launched since 2012 in Kourou as well.

The Atlas V500 of the United Launch Alliance is supplied with Payload Fairings, that can exceed 26 m.

A payload fairing consists of a sandwich-structure, with a core of aluminum honeycomb and topcoat of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Cured in the Autoclave at 50 to 250°C, it is plated with a cork plating and painted with its final lacquer.

A payload fairing protects the payload during launch from damage caused by the enormous noise, vibration and aerodynamic pressure. Once the atmosphere is getting thinner, and the point of highest pressure (max Q) is past, it gets separated via explosives while the engines are still burning, so that the payload (satellite, probe …) is exposed.


  1. ^ Annual Report RUAG Holding AG, 2017
  2. ^ Berg, Martin (2006-06-12). "Ericsson säljer Ericsson Microwave Systems till Saab" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 2008-11-09.[dead link]

External links[edit]