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PLD Space and RUAG Space sign Commercial Agreement for launch vehicle composite structures development

(3 October 2018 - RUAG Space) Launch vehicle developer PLD Space and space industry supplier RUAG Space have signed a long-term collaboration and supply agreement regarding lightweight carbon composite structures for small launch vehicles.

This agreement is related to PLD Space’s Suborbital ARION 1 and Orbital ARION 2 launch vehicles and covers the application and use of RUAG Space’ novel product family FlexLine. These products feature lightweight carbon composite standardised payload fairings and interstage adapters with their separation systems.

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Holger Wentscher (Senior Vice President Launchers, RUAG Space) and Raúl Torres (CEO PLD Space) sign agreement between RUAG Space and PLD Space. (courtesy: RUAG Space)

PLD Space will apply FlexLine products from RUAG Space as a pilot customer on its new launchers, which are under development for servicing the emerging small satellite worldwide launch demand.

“RUAG is the world’s leading fairing manufacturer for world class launch vehicles, including European ARIANE 5 and VEGA as well as the US launcher, ATLAS V. PLD Space with ARION 1 and ARION 2 joins this select group of launchers for which RUAG provides this critical structure. It is very good news for the NewSpace industry,” points out Raúl Torres, CEO and co-founder of the company.

Using the FlexLine products reduces launcher development cost and time-to-market significantly. “Our FlexLine products allow our customers to use mass optimised, plug-and-play products at a series cost which is best-in-class,” says Holger Wentscher, Senior Vice President Launchers at RUAG Space.

First test flight of ARION 1 launch vehicle is planned for October 2019 in which PLD Space will demonstrate all the critical technologies for further larger launcher developments, including Propulsion, Structures, Avionics and GNC as well as Ground & Launch Operations. RUAG´s fairings, based on FlexLine solution, will be part of PLD Space's launchers from the first mission.