RUAG International has transferred all shares in RUAG Aerospace Services in Oberpfaffenhofen in Germany to General Atomics Europe (GA-Europe). GA-Europe will take over the maintenance activities for private aircraft and military aircraft as well as the production and maintenance of the Dornier 228 aircraft at the Oberpfaffenhofen site as of 1 March 2021.
With the transfer of ownership (contractual closing) from RUAG Aerospace Services to General Atomics Europe (GA-Europe), all company shares have been transferred to the new owner. The sale process has thus been contractually completed. GA-Europe is taking over all business activities as well as all of the approximately 420 employees. At the Oberpfaffenhofen site, RUAG International continues to employ 800 people in aerostructures construction (RUAG Aerostructures); this business segment is not affected by the sale.
Felix Ammann, former MD of RUAG Aerospace Services, says: “We are very pleased with the successful conclusion and wish General Atomics Europe every success for the future. We are convinced that it brings excellent prerequisites with it to successfully continue the business activities and sustainably secure the jobs for the future.”
Harald Robl, MD of General Atomics Europe, adds: “With this acquisition, GA-Europe is sustainably strengthening its market positioning in the aviation business. We have developed a strategic concept for the future that will open up new growth and value creation prospects for the Oberpfaffenhofen site, far beyond the existing business areas, despite the current economic crisis.”
A corresponding agreement for the acquisition of the business activities of RUAG Aerospace Services had already been signed by both companies on 30 September 2020. The sale is in line with the concept for the unbundling and realignment of RUAG International approved by the Swiss Federal Council on 15 March 2019. The parties have agreed not to disclose the contractual terms. RUAG International took over the two services and components divisions of the former German aircraft manufacturer Fairchild Dornier in 2002. After the takeover, RUAG Aerospace Structures GmbH (RUAG Aerostructures) and RUAG Aerospace Services GmbH were created.
With the transfer of the services division, the then RUAG supplemented the product and service portfolio with the production of the Dornier 228 and its customer support, as well as maintenance on business jets and military helicopters. In 2007, RUAG began further development of the Do228 into the Do228 Next Generation, and in 2009 RUAG resumed production of the aircraft. The successful maiden flight of the new series aircraft took place on 30 July 2010. To this day, the Do228 NG is manufactured in Oberpfaffenhofen and customer support looks after customers worldwide.
In the field of military helicopter maintenance, new orders have been secured for the NH90 of the German Armed Forces. The site is thus well positioned for the future. In the business jet sector, the company has focused on creating added value for customers through its one-stop shop approach. This has also strengthened its position in the market, thanks to the improved customer experience.
Robl concludes: “We have prepared well for this takeover. In order to achieve it, we have developed a strategic future concept that will open up prospects for new growth and value-added for the Oberpfaffenhofen location that, despite the current economic crisis, go far beyond the existing business areas. For example, we see great potential for combining our know-how of the Do228 and the competencies of General Atomics in the field of unmanned aircraft. Here we are confident that we can play the role of a major innovation driver in civil freight aviation. At the same time, we are clearly committed to our group's market-leading position in unmanned military systems. We are convinced that we offer an attractive range of products and services in this segment, and that we will be a reliable partner not only for our six existing European customers, but also for the German armed forces.”