TAMPA, Fla. — Swiss component maker RUAG International is shedding its military businesses to focus solely on space, transforming into a subsystems provider to be called ‘beyond gravity.’

The new company will look to invest in newspace solutions to expand internationally, with a particular focus on the U.S. and Asia.

André Wall, CEO of RUAG International, said the business is moving from a state-owned enterprise mentality into a nimble startup, setting sights on analyst forecasts of a $1 trillion space market in 2040.

“Geo-politically, access to space has never been more relevant,” Wall said.

RUAG International was formed last year when its parent group RUAG split into two independent companies. 

MRO Switzerland was created to hold services provided to Swiss armed forces, while RUAG International held operations including space, aerostructures, ammunition manufacturing and aviation simulation and training. 

Defense and technology giant General Atomics Europe recently acquired its activities in business aviation and military helicopters.

Under the new plan, RUAG International will completely withdraw from military-related businesses, while optimizing its aerostructure operations for its space assets.

The Swiss company expects to find a new owner for its ammunition business before the end of this year. It said divesting RUAG Aerostructures, however, could be more challenging because of the effect COVID-19 has had on aircraft manufacturers.

“Change does not happen overnight,” Wall said.

“Inspired by the future ahead of us, however, we have already initiated numerous measures to create our present. Our promise to our customers is clear: as a leading-edge technology company with the highest reliability and the mentality of a startup, we make a significant contribution to their sustainable success and aim to advance to be an incubator for innovation.”

The shift marks a significant change for a company that has supplied European space missions with computers, insulation and mechanisms for more than 40 years.

It follows a new five-year strategy from European space mission integrator Telespazio, which is hunting for newspace acquisitions as it reshapes its operations over the next five years.

Jason Rainbow writes about satellite telecom, space finance and commercial markets for SpaceNews. He has spent more than a decade covering the global space industry as a business journalist. Previously, he was Group Editor-in-Chief for Finance Information...