European aerospace company RUAG will acquire Swish-based Oerlikon Space by mid-2009 to expand its footprint in the European and US aerospace industry.

The company says that the space industry is key to its growth strategy since it is increasing in importance in relation to earth observation for security and environmental purposes and the merger will strengthen the company.

Oerlikon too will be able to focus on its core competencies by selling of its non-core space business unit, Oerlikon Space.

The acquisition will be completed only after approval of merger authorities.

RUAG is a European aerospace and defence and security technology group that had aquire Saab Space in 2008.

Oerlikon Space is a supplier for payload fairings in composite technology.