ZURICH, Switzerland (RUAG Space) — From a state-owned enterprise to a startup – CEO André Wall has set his sights on nothing less than this transformation, in the future RUAG International with solely focus on space. The vision is clear: RUAG International is to evolve into a company that advances humankind and enables the exploration of the world and beyond.
Startup with 100% mission success
André Wall explains the mission as follows: “We want to develop integrated satellite and launch system capabilities with strong partners in Europe. In doing this, we will guarantee our customers 100% mission success. We will be the first startup to combine agility, speed and innovation with decades of experience and proven quality.”
RUAG has been proven many times to be at the forefront of delivering innovation to push boundaries. RUAG supplied the payload fairing for the Ariane-1’s maiden flight in 1979. For more than 40 years, European missions such as Galileo, SolarOrbiter, MetOp and Copernicus have been equipped with RUAG computers, insulation, and mechanisms. Large US space programs such as James Webb Space Telescope, IceSat or, most recently, the NASA Mars mission Perseverance also had technology from RUAG in use.
New spirit encapsulated by “beyond gravity”
André Wall, CEO of RUAG International, says: “We have an ideal launch window ahead of us: the space market is booming. Analysts forecast a $1 trillion market by 2040 with annual growth rates of over 16 percent. Geo-politically, access to space has never been more relevant.”
A new purpose and a new vision are brought together under the name “beyond gravity”. beyond gravity will transform itself from a component manufacturer to a provider of subsystems. The company intends to invest in innovative solutions and shift its current production from prototypes to mini-series using digital technology, artificial intelligence and robotics. The focus is on expanding market leadership in Europe and global market access especially in the USA, but also in Asia – be it for institutional as well as commercial programs in the New Space environment.
Rigorous focus on space
The focus on space calls for a complete withdrawal from the military-related business and the individual optimization of the aerostructures business. For the current business units, this translates into the following:
- MRO International will be sold, both the business activities in Australia and Malaysia as well as the Simulation & Training business. The MRO activities for business aircrafts and military helicopters as well as the production of the Dornier 228 at the Oberpfaffenhofen site have already been transferred to the new owner General Atomics Europe at the end of February 2021.
- RUAG Ammotec: RUAG International is confident that by the end of 2021 the divestment will be completed, and a new owner will be found who values the existing potential of the highly successful ammunition supplier and can unlock additional market potential for the company to grow.
- RUAG Aerostructures will have to re-align to a completely changed market situation in view of the massive Covid-19 impact. It is likely to take at least until 2025 for aircraft manufacturers to return to pre-pandemic volumes. André Wall comments: “Despite the unprecedented challenges in the aerospace industry, I am optimistic that through restructuring we will succeed in putting RUAG Aerostructures on a solid path for the future.
Over the years, capabilities have been built up here exclusively for premium customers; these must be protected, and we will continue to deliver added value to our customers. We will devote significant energy into this business segment. I do not rule out a divestment to a strategic partner during the process – provided they value the potential.” The company plans to implement the necessary adjustments in close coordination with its main customers.
André Wall sums up the transformation: “Change does not happen overnight. Inspired by the future ahead of us, however, we have already initiated numerous measures to create our present. Our promise to our customers is clear: as a leading-edge technology company with the highest reliability and the mentality of a startup, we make a significant contribution to their sustainable success and aim to advance to be an incubator for innovation.”