• 20.03.2017
  • Air, RUAG MRO International, Helicopter
  • Media release

RUAG integrates pilot assistance and safety solution on EC635 for NATO DVE flight trials

RUAG MRO CH integrated a pilot assistance and helicopter safety solution on the Airbus Helicopter EC635, on behalf of the Swiss Air Force, for use in recent North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-sponsored trials. The goal of the international trials cited technology- testing for enhancing safety during helicopter operations in limited visibility environments. Held at Älggialp, Switzerland, the NATO trials focused on Degraded Visual Environments (DVE) caused specifically by snow, or whiteo...

whiteout conditions. The Swiss DVE whiteout trials operated out of the Swiss Air Force helicopter base in Alpnach, Switzerland, where RUAG MRO Switzerland also maintains an independent Center of Excellence for helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). The DVE trials ran from 20 to 23 February 2017.

The NATO DVE trials were held in the interest of technology and knowledge sharing, across international borders, on solutions specifically designed to improve safety and mitigate risk for both pilots and helicopters. RUAG MRO Switzerland became a key player in the NATO whiteout trials, integrating the pilot assistance and helicopter safety system in use during the event into the EC635 platform belonging to the Swiss Air Force. This helicopter acts as a capability demonstrator and will be used for further live tests. The Sferion based solution – initially developed by Airbus DS Electronics & Border Security GmbH - is specifically configured to be integrated into any helicopter platform.

“Amid prototypes and various research projects, this integration showcased the vast and thorough helicopter systems and engineering expertise amassed by RUAG MRO Switzerland from our continuing work on behalf of the Swiss and German Air Forces, as well as for helicopter emergency services (HEMS) and civil operators,” states Claudio Zeiter, Team Leader Commercial Helicopter Services, RUAG MRO Switzerland. “We are pleased to have been able to make such a significant contribution to these DVE whiteout trials and allow the international community to experience precisely how systems and technologies can interact to provide improved visualisation and enhanced safety for both pilot and machine during DVE conditions,” he confirms.

DVE is widely recognised as a significant issue, concerning the entire helicopter community, public and private. It is one of the pressing issues which RUAG MRO Switzerland addresses in its function as an independent aircraft services provider and systems integrator for military and civil operators worldwide. Civil operators can rely on outstanding engineering support, benefiting from the company’s European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification as an approved Part 21J Design Organisation (DOA) and decades of system integrations expertise for business jet, business and HEMS helicopter, as well as military aircraft platforms.


RUAG MRO Switzerland is a leading supplier, support provider and integrator of systems and components for civil and military aviation worldwide.

Servicing aircraft and helicopters throughout their entire life cycle, the company’s core competencies include maintenance, repair and overhaul services, upgrades, and the development, manufacturing and integration of subsystems.

RUAG is an authorised service centre for OEMs of renown, such as Airbus Helicopters, Bell, Bombardier, Cirrus, Cessna, Diamond, Dassault Aviation, Embraer, Leonardo, Piaggio, Sikorsky, Piper, and Mooney, as well as a service centre for 328 Support Services, Hawker Beechcraft, Viking und MD Helicopters. RUAG MRO Switzerland is also a partner to the Swiss Armed Forces and other international air forces.

The company is also the manufacturer (OEM) of the Dornier 228, a versatile aircraft for challenging special missions and passenger and cargo operations.

RUAG MRO Switzerland is an approved Part 21/J EASA Design Organisation, Part 21/G EASA Production Organisation, and Part 145 EASA Maintenance Organisation.