Swiss aerospace and defence supplier Ruag is embarking on a campaign of engagement with Airbus as it bids to become a first-tier supplier within five years.

Ruag has moved into subcontracting for civil aircraft manufacturers after the decline in its defence maintenance and licence-manufacturing business as the Swiss military budget has fallen over the past 10 years. The company, based in Emmen, near Lucerne, is a risk-sharing partner in the A380 project, supplying the outer fixed trailing-edges of the ultra-large aircraft's wing in a long-term contract estimated to be worth SFr200 million ($160 million). Toni Wicki, Ruag group chief executive, says the company has to integrate its business better into the Airbus supply chain to move from its third-tier status. "We aim to be a manufacturer of assemblies and subassemblies, not of parts," he says.

Wicki says the door could open for foreign companies to acquire a stake in Ruag, once the Swiss government is ready to sell a stake, which was formed from several state-owned and private firms. "In maybe four to six years we will look for a strategic partnership and that process could be opened to foreign companies," says Wicki.



Source: Flight International