In 1996, the former Swiss Federal Aircraft Factory Emmen merged with the industrial division of the Swiss Air Force Logistic Command and parts of the Federal Ordnance Office. On 1 January 1999, it was converted from a federal ordnance establishment into a public diversified private company within the RUAG group and renamed Swiss Aircraft and Systems Enterprise Corporation. This title was changed to RUAG Aerospace in 2001, with sites at Emmen, Dubendorf, Stans, Zweisimmen, Interlaken, Lodrino and Alpnach. In 2002, RUAG Aerospace had 1,666 in workforce and turnover of SwFr47 million; factory area totalled 72,960 m² (785,350 sq ft) and office area 20,635 m² (222,125 sq ft). Major shareholder is Swiss government.
Main activities are the maintenance, manufacture, modernisation and assembly under licence of military and civil aircraft and guided missiles. R&D activities involve four departments, of which Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics department has four wind tunnels for speeds up to M4 to M5, and test cells for piston and jet engines with and without afterburners. Structural and Systems Engineering department deals with aircraft and space hardware. Electronics and Missile Systems department deals with all systems aspects of aircraft avionics and missiles. Fourth R&D department is for prototype fabrication, flight test, instrumentation and system environmental testing. The Production department can handle mechanical, sheet metal and composites and electronic, electrical, electromechanical and electro-optical subassemblies.
Recent programmes have included structural improvements to Swiss Air Force Tiger F-5E/Fs and the integration of new systems (smoke systems, target towing, missiles); manufacture and delivery of Rafale drop tanks to Dassault Aviation; assembly of 19 BAe Hawk Mk 66s; integration of AS 532UL Cougars for the Swiss Air Force and assembly of 32 single- and two-seat F-18 Hornets for the Swiss Air Force; it also established engineering support and manufactured leading-edges, rudders and its own low-drag pylons for the last-named.
Current work includes the serial production of rudders for the Boeing 717, wingtips for the Airbus A319/A320/A321, entire wing fiixed trailing-edges for the Airbus A380, the tailplane for the Pilatus PC-12 and the manufacture and ground support of the Ranger UAV and its hydraulic launcher. During 2001 and 2002 it was assembling 10 of the follow-on order for AS 532UL Cougars ordered for the Swiss Air Force in December 1998.
RUAG Aerospace is sole manufacturer of Dragon anti-tank missile; TOW missile programme began 1996; Stinger missile programme began 1989.
RUAG Aerospace is accredited to msintain GE J85 (Tiger) , Adour (Hawk), GE F404 (F/A-18), Makila (Cougar) and PT6A (PC-6, PC-7, PC-9) engines in own workshops. JAR 145 accreditation allows the company to carry out maintenance work at all levels. This includes inspections, repairs, modifications, prototyping and fault elimination. Other specialities include non-destructive testing procedures such as ultrasonic, eddy current and X-ray as well as comprehensive service packages for systems re-engineering.
In collaboration with Contraves, RUAG Aerospace co-manufactures all payload fairings for Ariane IV and V space launchers on behalf of the ESA, ESTEC, CNES and private industry.