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General Atomics Europe consolidates position on the aviation market
Tuesday, 9 March 2021

The takeover of RUAG Aerospace Services GmbH in Oberpfaffenhofen by General Atomics Europe GmbH based in Dresden, which was announced in mid-October 2020, has now taken place. The formal closing of the parties took place on 28 February 2021.

The takeover will enable General Atomics Europe (GA-Europe) to expand its product and service portfolio in the maintenance and repair of business aircraft and military helicopters, as well as in the production and maintenance of the Dornier 228. The previous parent company of RUAG Aerospace Services, the Swiss technology group RUAG International, is concentrating on its activities in aircraft structure construction (RUAG Aerostructures).

The acquisition also means that GA-Europe is consolidating its market position in both the civil and military and manned and unmanned aviation business in the long term. The approximately 420 employees of the previous RUAG Aerospace Services (RUAG AS) at the Oberpfaffenhofen location will continue to be employed. In future, the company will operate as a subsidiary of General Atomics Europe GmbH under the name General Atomics AeroTec Systems GmbH (GA-ATS).

As a result of the takeover, General Atomics Europe has expanded as a technology group to over 1,000 employees and sees high growth and innovation potential in both the civil and military aviation business. In addition to the further development of the existing business, GA-Europe will expand the Oberpfaffenhofen location to become the company's European aviation core. This means that the GA-Europe group's essential operational aviation activities will be concentrated in Oberpfaffenhofen. Besides growing the existing business, it is also planned to expand service areas such as component overhaul and engineering services. The highly qualified employees and the extensive aviation legal approvals the company has received in Oberpfaffenhofen provide the best basis for this expansion.

Consolidating military competence – new perspectives in civil freight aviation

Harald Robl, Managing Director of General Atomics Europe, said: "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 marketleading 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."

At the formal conclusion of the contract, GA-Europe Managing Director Harald Robl expressly thanked the Bavarian State Government for the constructive support during the takeover: "Our future concept for the Oberpfaffenhofen location met with an extremely positive response from the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs immediately. We would particularly like to thank State Secretary Roland Weigert, who supported our plans for the further development of the site from the start on behalf of Minister Hubert Aiwanger and provided constructive assistance."

Felix Ammann, previous Managing Director of RUAG Aerospace Services GmbH, thanked the employees of RUAG Aerospace Services for the good cooperation. "RUAG AS has a highly competent and committed team. I would also like to thank you on behalf of RUAG International for your total commitment and excellent performance during the last 18 years and more. Hightech is and will remain at home here in Ober-pfaffenhofen. We are very pleased to have found a strategic investor in General Atomics Europe, which has developed a convincing future concept for the location."

In addition to the takeover of RUAG AS, the GA-Europe Group has recently taken an-other step towards strengthening its aviation footprint in Europe with the European Regional Sustainment Network (ERSN), the group-wide network for supporting European customers. In future, this network will be managed from the GA-Europe Holding in Dresden with the aim of being able to meet the needs of European customers even better and, above all, even faster than before. The new location in Oberpfaffenhofen will also be included in these plans and make an increasing contribution.

Contact details from our directory:
General Atomics AeroTec Systems GmbH Airframer
General Atomics Europe GmbH Research/Consulting Services, Financial Consultants
Ruag Aerospace Structures GmbH Wind Tunnels, Aircraft Landing Gear, Cable Assemblies, Fairings, Metal Bonding, Metal Structures, Composite Structures, Aircraft Structural Components, Engine Parts, Airframer, Wings, Fuselage Sections, Winglets, Fuel Tanks & Systems, Aerodynamic Test Services, Ordnance Handling Equipment, Aircraft Flooring, Empennages
Related aircraft programs:
Dornier 228