Reliable technology partner to the Swiss Air Force – since 1915.


RUAG Life Cycle Management – end-to-end support for air defense systems

MKZ_Military Engines Stans MRO Triebwerkunterhalt

Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO)

  • Infrastructure
  • Ground-support equipment, incl. test equipment
  • Qualified and authorized personnel
  • Licenses and manuals
  • Technology (engineering) and planning (operations scheduling)
  • Spare parts
  • Ground and test flights (factory flight testing)


  • Qualified and authorized personnel
  • Technical data packages (drawings, reports, etc.)
  • Development and analysis software and hardware
  • Documentation

Supply Chain & Logistics

  • Strategic and operational purchasing
  • Material planning and warehouse management
  • Export control (trade compliance)
  • Transport

Upgrades, Modifications & Integration

  • Design and development
  • Prototyping
  • Production
  • Assembly
  • Certification
  • Testing

Our projects – a success story

Final assembly of the F/A-18, F-5, Super Puma, EC-635


Final assembly of the F/A-18, F-5, Super Puma, EC-635

RUAG MRO Switzerland is the materials Center of Excellence for the Swiss Air Force, and as such accomplished the final assembly of several aircraft systems. The individual parts were delivered to Emmen and assembled piece-by-piece in the assembly halls. These parts included fuselage, wings and landing gear, cable harnesses, electronic systems, and the installation of the cockpit. Extensive final testing and numerous acceptance flights performed by armasuisse pilots marked the successful end of the final assembly.

To complete this task, RUAG staff received intensive training from the original equipment manufacturers. The combination of these training courses and the know-how acquired during the final assembly forms an ideal basis for the subsequent regular fleet support.

Replacement of the F-5 “Upper Cockpit Longeron”

Austausch «Upper Cockpit Longeron» (UCL) an F-5

Replacement of the F-5 “Upper Cockpit Longeron”

Fighter aircraft that are operated in Switzerland are exposed to high stresses due, in a large part, to the Swiss topography. This stress can cause structural cracks over time. Parts that are subject to high mechanical loads must therefore be replaced periodically.

A part of the F-5 that is susceptible to loads and fatigue is the Upper Cockpit Longeron (UCL). It is the primary connector between the nose, cockpit and center fuselage of the F-5. In order to be able to replace this load-bearing component, the entire cockpit must be removed. This complex replacement involves extended downtimes, which is why the repairs are performed during planned major checks. The new UCL were produced in-house at RUAG Aerostructures.

RUAG ensures the structural integrity of the ageing F-5 with this replacement program and thereby provides the Air Force with a high level of aircraft availability and technical safety.

Replacement for FLIR ThermaCAMs on the Super Puma

Ersatz FLIR-Wärmebildkameras bei Super Puma

Replacement for FLIR ThermaCAMs on the Super Puma

RUAG MRO Switzerland provided a total of four new FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) systems to the Swiss Armed Forces by mid-2018. The thermal imaging cameras are installed on board the Super Puma helicopters and help in finding missing persons or securing the borders.

RUAG MRO Switzerland, as the system integrator, was responsible for the development of the prototype as well as for the conversion of the four Super Puma helicopters. This included the selection, combination and integration of a number of components. The new FLIR camera, which is mounted on the outside of the helicopter, and the new control panel, which is installed in the cabin of the Super Puma, are both significantly more effective than the previous equipment.

Super Puma/Cougar upgrade

Super PumaCougar Upgrade (WE89 & WE98)

Super Puma/Cougar upgrade

The WE89 and WE98 upgrade programs brought the systems of the Super Puma and Cougar fleet up to date with the latest technological developments.

The two programs included the following modernizations which RUAG implemented on the transport helicopters: replacement of entire cable harnesses, installation of the latest self-protection systems, search lights, and GPS-based LPV (Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance) landing system, as well as implementation of an augmented reality visualization system which projects information about the terrain and obstacles onto the pilot’s helmet visor in cases of degraded visual environments.

The upgrades aim to increase flight safety, to improve handling for the pilots as well as to adapt transport helicopters to the continuously growing requirements of international aviation authorities.

PC-6 Upgrade

PC-6 Upgrade (NCPC-6)

PC-6 Upgrade

The PC-6 cockpit had reached the limits of its long service and therefore fell short of complying with current aviation requirements.

RUAG was tasked with replacing the original, analog instruments in the cockpit with new electronic ones (installation of glass cockpit or “NCPC-6 project”). The upgrade also included completely replacing the cable harness. Furthermore, the manually operated flaps were replaced with electronically operated flaps, and an autopilot function was installed, upgrading the aircraft from its original, manually controlled state.

This modernization significantly reduces pilot workload, particularly in poor weather conditions, and ensures the PC-6 will remain operational for more years to come.

F/A-18 structural refurbishment programs Installation of more powerful

FA-18 Struktursanierungsprogramme

F/A-18 structural refurbishment programs Installation of more powerful

The high stress resulting from operations in Switzerland’s topography impact an aircraft’s structure significantly. In order to identify the potentially affected areas as early as possible, RUAG carried out a fatigue test on the entire airframe during the final assembly of the F/A-18.

The aircraft was put in a jig and subjected to mechanical stresses using a large number of hydraulic cylinders which simulated the loads occurring during flight. Equipped with hundreds of sensors and measuring instruments to determine levels of fatigue, the aircraft was continuously evaluated.

The results enabled RUAG to predict weaknesses so that measures for reinforcing the affected parts could be developed early on.

Awareness and timely detection ensured RUAG was able to integrate all necessary actions into scheduled maintenance tasks in order to optimize fleet availability.

F/A-18 Upgrade programmes

FA-18 Upgradeprogramme

F/A-18 Upgrade programmes

Aircraft need to be modified from time to time to comply with the current regulations and to ensure the highest possible level of safety and functionality for the pilots.

For this reason, RUAG performed various upgrade programs on the Swiss F/A-18 fleet. The modifications have included many avionics systems and instruments, such as higher performance cockpit screens, digital multi-channel recording devices, a more interference-resistant and precise GPS receiver that complies with the flight safety requirements of the civil aviation authorities, performance-enhanced radar warning systems, improved friend-or-foe identification systems, a helmet visor with integrated target tracking, etc.

The targeted use of the latest technologies can reduce the pilot workload, which enhances mission safety even more.

Operations extension program for F-5E/F to extend beyond scheduled decommissioning

Weiterbetrieb des F-5EF nach geplanter Ausserdienststellung

Operations extension program for F-5E/F to extend beyond scheduled decommissioning

The partial replacement of the Tiger fleet included plans for the end of the F-5E/F’s service life, which had been scheduled for some time. The operation and maintenance of the Tiger jets was modified accordingly to make sure that the aircraft would be used to the optimum extent and the full potential of flight hours would be realized. Due to the negative outcome of the popular vote on the Gripen aircraft, the parliament – and thus also the Swiss Air Force – decided to continue operating the Tiger fleet, which led to a very challenging situation.

Certain checks had no longer been performed as the end of the service life was approaching. As a result of the decision to operate the F-5 longer than originally planned, a great number of checks had to be accomplished in a short amount of time. RUAG personnel normally engaged in the company’s international business were temporarily assigned to support the Swiss Air Force.

Once again, RUAG was able to demonstrate that it successfully fulfills its role as materials Center of Excellence.

Ground-based counter-air defense

1.3.0_Military-Systems_Guided Missiles_1

Ground-based counter-air defense

RUAG MRO Switzerland services Switzerland’s ground-based counter-air defense systems (Stinger, Rapier, MFlab). The system support service includes:

  • fleet management
  • development of test and measuring equipment to record live firing data
  • quality assurance and qualifying firings of guided missiles
  • development and production of testing systems
  • maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrades of the overall systems as well as the subsystems


RUAG MRO Switzerland produced the Stinger missile under license and even developed the corresponding practice missile.

About RUAG MRO Switzerland

RUAG MRO Switzerland is a leading supplier, support provider and integrator of systems and components for civil and military aviation. Servicing aircraft and helicopters throughout their entire life cycle, the company’s core competencies include maintenance, repair and overhaul services, upgrades, and the development and integration of subsystems.


Swiss Air Force, Airbus, Pilatus Aircraft, Boeing, General Electric, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, United Technology, Elbit

RUAG MRO Switzerland in numbers (2018)

  • Net sales: CHF 609.2 million
  • EBIT: CHF 79.1 million
  • Employees: 2‘259 FTE
  • Based in: Switzerland, Germany, USA

Our history

Since our foundation in 1940, we have looked after over 1,600 aircraft and helicopters!

F-5 Life Cycle Management

Air Defence