2021  New centre for the qualification of rail vehicles in Dresden


2019  Ground-breaking Competence Center Optics for the qualification of optical earth observation systems

2017  Establishment of „Predictive Analytics/ crisis early warning”

2016  Establishment of Business Unit „Autonomous systems”

2015  Demonstrator „Inductive charging“

2014  Establishment of the Centre of Competence „Safety & Human Factors“
Expanding end-user functionality and automation, particularly the development of autonomous systems, is challenging designers. The level of interaction and system complexity is escalating. Cross-industry co-operation is necessary to successfully develop safety-relevant products. In its Centre of Competence „Safety“ IABG supports the adoption of risk-reduction measures, such as establishing a safety culture, for the entire product life-cycle, performs audits and assessments and provides expertise to support the system design process for functional safety, operational security and mechanical, electronic and software-related safety aspects.

2012  Setting solutions for energy turnaround (Electric Mobility, Wind Energy, Energy Storage)

2012 Foundation of IABG subsidiary INTIS Integrated Infrastructure Solutions

2011 New mobile infrastructure for large-scale aircraft tests in Erding (Airbus A350)

2011 50 years of IABG

2010 Security management for German digital radio

2010 Test satellite under test – LISA Pathfinder in the space simulation chamber


2009   New shareholder structure

2008   Inauguration of new test infrastructure for A400M at Dresden airport

2007   Geo information world-wide – opening Geodata Factory in Dresden

In the last ten years the demand for global availability of reliable and accurate spatial data for both civil and military clients has risen. Satellite photographs alone are poorly suited to today's requirements; for geo information systems they must be vectorised with attributes such as climate, vegetation or traffic data. The new Geodata Factory in Dresden was opened in November 2007 and focuses on the collection, processing, analysis and visualisation of geo data.

2006   New Simulation and Test Centre Defence & Security in Ottobrunn

2005   Laying foundation of IABG Technology Centre with integrated simulation and test environment

2005   Development of the “Defence and Security” business field

The attacks of 11 September 2001 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrated the continuing importance of complex technical solutions in “Defence and Security”. IABG reacted to this new situation in 2005 by establishing the “European Security and Defence Analysis Group” (ESDAG) together with TNO (the Netherlands), FOI (France) and QINETIQ (Great Britain). The goal is to better co-ordinate national contributions to European security research. IABG also invested € 28 million in the new Simulation and Test Centre (SIT) in the same year. The new centre opened in 2006 and provides extensive simulation and test environments for IT systems.

2004   Fatigue tests on Airbus A380

A prototype of the largest civil aircraft ever produced in serial production, the Airbus A380, was handed over to IABG in 2004 for structural testing. After the company had received the contract for the tests in 2002, it established new test hangars at Dresden airport, specifically for testing purposes. In September 2005, following the arrival of the fuselage elements, the largest fatigue test on a civil aircraft worldwide began. During the test campaign, 47,500 flight cycles (corresponding to a service life of approx. 25 years) were simulated.

2004   Establishment of European ESDAG network (European Security & Defence Analysis Group)

2003   Commissioning of multi-component car body test stand with climate chamber for BMW and thus entry into individual operator business models

2003   Commissioning of new large-scale test hangar in Dresden

2002   Contract award for life cycle test on largest civil aircraft, the Airbus A380

2002   S & D Industriebeteiligungen GmbH acquires shares held by TRW and IVG thus assuming management control

2001   Commissioning of new echo chamber integrated into Space Test Centre

2000   Start of A340-600 life cycle tests in Dresden

2000   Commencement of HIL examination and simulation of mechatronic systems


1999   In the age of globalisation – IABG’s Teleport

The commissioning of IABG’s Teleport in 1999 represents a milestone in the history of the “InfoCom” business unit. With this technology, the company was able to offer comprehensive world-wide satellite communication services to its customers. Due to rapidly increasing global networking, many companies and government organisations used the option of satellite-based data transmission within a short space of time, particularly in regions with poor telecommunications infrastructure.

1997   Withdrawal of BDM International Inc., USA from corporate management, takeover of BDM by TRW

1997   Acquisition of ESA space test facilities in Noordwijk

1995   Establishment of IABG Mitarbeiterbeteiligungs AG (IABG MBAG) in Ottobrunn

1994   Tests on ESA cluster satellites

After the company’s privatisation in 1993, the importance of space equipment tests increased for IABG. In 1994, the European Space Agency (ESA), contracted the company to test their new cluster satellites. Among other tests, the satellites which researched interplanetary areas, were examined for electromagnetic compatibility and their functionality under space conditions (vacuum, space temperatures and solar radiation). IABG thereby made an important contribution to the implementation of the European science programme.

1993   Privatisation of company by Federal Republic of Germany: BDM becomes main managing shareholder

1992   Start of structural test programme for European rocket Ariane 5

1991   New “Environment” business field

Shortly before reunification in 1990, IABG had been in contact with the Federal Ministry for Environment, Environmental Protection and Reactor Safety as well as with the Federal Environmental Agency. Particular focus was on environmental impact studies and risk assessments prior to remedial measures for contaminated sites. A year later the Federal Secretary of the Environment, Klaus Töpfer (CDU), contracted IABG and 20 partner companies to “determine contaminated sites on properties held by the former Westgruppe of the Soviet armed forces in what was East Germany (WGT)”. This large contract then led to the establishment of the new “Environment” business area. Its significance continues to grow in the wake of population expansion and climate change.

1990   Comprehensive extension and modernisation of Space Test Centre

1990   Start of identification and elimination of historical environmental contamination

1990   Set up of independent business fields for Information Technology and Environment

1990   Further Airbus fatigue strength tests


1989   At the threshold of the digital age: new focus “InfoCom”
For decades, Information Technology had been a cornerstone of IABG’s service portfolio. Since the commissioning of the large computing centre in the 1960s, supply and demand had steadily increased. Since the 1970s, IABG was also represented at fairs like SYSTEMS. In 1989, the company employed over 400 data processing specialists. When the “InfoCom” business field was created at the start of the “digital revolution” in the 1990s, IABG was able to call on decades of developed expertise. The great significance of InfoCom became clear when orders in the “defence” business sector slumped at the end of the Cold War, but could be offset by the new business area.

1986   Reason to celebrate: a quarter century of tests, analyses and developments
“25 years of IABG: evidence of a successful development” – was the title of the anniversary publication chosen by the company for its first major anniversary. The celebration on 3 June 1986 was also attended by some of the “founding fathers” of the former “Anlagenbetriebsgesellschaft mbH”; among them the former Federal Minister of Defence who was then Bavarian Prime Minister, Franz Josef Strauss (CSU). The small “baby” had now turned into a “strong athlete who could now also occasionally afford to flex its muscles”, stated the Prime Minister in his speech. For the next 25 years he wished IABG “All the best!” and continued success at work for the common interest.

1983   Inauguration of the new space simulation facility
In the autumn of 1980, the Federal Minister for Research and Technology, Volker Hauff (SPD), contracted IABG to perform tests on the planned French-German television satellite “TV-SAT”. This required the establishment of a new and larger space simulation chamber. In a 3-year planning and construction phase, the new facility was established as the centrepiece of IABG’s Space Test Centre. In the autumn of 1983, the largest solar simulation facility in Europe was then put into operation. The chamber allowed tests on satellites to be carried out in simulated space conditions such as vacuum, cryogenic temperature and solar exposure. IABG had thus secured a place in the first rank among European space test centres.

1982   Contract to operate Transrapid test facility in Emsland

1980   Entry to system integration market for IT and Telecommunications

1980   Setup of the “Transport” business field
On 30 November 1980, IABG created the Versuchs-und Planungsgesellschaft für Magnetbahnsysteme mbH (MVP) together with Deutsche Bundesbahn and Deutsche Lufthansa AG. MVP's task was to operate the large-scale experimental facility for the “Transrapid” magnetic levitation system in Emsland and to carry out technical and economic analyses and studies related to traffic and telematic systems. IABG thus entered the new “Transport” business segment, which would develop into a key area of responsibility in a short space of time. Since then, IABG has carried out numerous tests and experimental investigations on innovative traffic technologies. Deutsche Bahn AG is still among IABG’s most important customers.


1978   MRCA Tornado large-scale tests
Since 1967 several European countries had joined forces to develop a possible successor to the “Starfighter”. Ultimately Germany, Italy and Great Britain came together to develop the ultra-modern and highly flexible multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) Tornado. For quite a while there was a dispute about which company should carry out the aircraft tests. Eventually IABG, supported by Federal Minister of Defence, Georg Leber (SPD), prevailed over the English competitors: in 1978 large-scale tests were carried out in Ottobrunn. The Tornado was the most important military aircraft in Western Europe for over two decades.

1976   Commissioning of dual flight simulator
Despite the stabilisation of the civil sector, the military remained a major area of work for IABG, even in the 1970's. On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Defence, planning for the development of a dual flight simulator began in 1970. For realistic simulation of aerial combat, learning about the flight and manoeuvrability of aircraft, that were not yet built, would save development costs. So In 1976 the dual flight simulator, which was also to be used for training, was successfully put into operation. IABG still provides expert knowledge on aerial combat to its partners.

1975   New “Automotive” business field
The economic boom following the Second World War saw the number of passenger cars increasing substantially across the Western world. However, the increased mobility also had some downsides, particularly in smog-prone areas where exhaust fumes placed major risks on the environment. When the US Government reacted to this by introducing emission limits, the export-dependent German car industry was compelled to follow suit. As some of these tests had to be performed under extreme conditions, IABG and its test facilities were exactly the right partner. The new “Automotive” business field was rapidly expanded in the following decades and today all major car manufacturers are among IABG's customers.

1973   Start of co-operation with Airbus – A300 fatigue tests
In September 1967 the governments of Great Britain, France and Germany signed a memorandum by which they decided on the development of a large twin engine aircraft. The background to the project was the will to create a European counterweight to the American supremacy in aviation. When the Airbus A300 B was tested for fatigue and life span at IABG 6 years later, it was the start of a long and fruitful collaboration with Airbus, which continues to this day.

1970   HELIOS solar probe
The signing of the contract for the German-American HELIOS solar probe project at end of the 1960s was the start of an ambitious space probe project. The two space probes HELIOS 1 and HELIOS 2 were to approach the sun as closely as possible to examine solar wind. This represented a special challenge for the industry because extreme thermal stress in the vicinity of the sun placed high demands on the material. The object of national prestige was tested in IABG’s magnetic field simulation facility.


1968   Opening of the space simulation facility
As part of IABG’s development into a space test centre, a 3 metre diameter space simulation chamber was set up. The opening of the facility as a core element of the “space simulation laboratory” at the end of the 1960s was a milestone in the development of the German space industry. Almost all German and European satellites of the following decades had to undergo the chamber tests before they could be sent into orbit.

1965   Towards more ambitious goals – entry into the aerospace business
As early as 1963, IABG was on the road to becoming a national space test centre. On 6 September 1965, Federal Chancellor Ludwig Erhard (CDU) and MP Konstantin Prinz von Bayern (CSU) visited IABG’s new ELDO chamber. The purpose of the ELDO programme was the development of a European launch vehicle, the “Europe”, which would later become the prototype for the famous “Ariane”. Specifically for the tests, it became necessary to establish a test chamber at the IABG site in Ottobrunn, which led to the company entering the space business. Illustrated from the left: Dr. Göhre, Konstantin Prinz von Bayern, Federal Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, Dipl.-Ing. Ludwig Bölkow, Dipl. - Kfm. Herbert Köppel.

1963   Expertise for Germany’s Armed Forces – Setup of Operations Research department
An important area for IABG, almost from the very beginning, was the development of security and defence analyses for the German Federal Armed Forces. Operations Research was applied here; i.e. advanced analytical methods to support decision making. On request from the Federal Ministry of Defence, an independent OR group, consisting mainly of former Bölkow employees, had been formed as early as 1963, thus laying the foundation for the IABG “Defence and Security” business area.

1963   Aviation industry during the Cold War – VTO Aircraft VJ 101
An important contract for IABG was the stress test on the VTO Aircraft VJ 101 at the beginning of 1963. Against the background of the increasingly fierce Cold War between East and West, the development of such a fighter was an important prestige project for the German Federal Armed Forces. The military significance of the VJ 101 proved to be of minor importance however, as construction ceased in 1968. Nevertheless, the development of the project became an important driver for the southern German aviation industry. Furthermore, IABG benefited from the crucial experience gained during the building of the aviation test centre.

1963   Setting up institutions – Supervisory Board
On 15 January 1963, IABG’s Supervisory Board gathered for its first meeting. In addition to three representatives of the Federal Ministry of Defence, the members included two GfF representatives and one from IVG; a little later this team was joined by Ludwig Heigl as representative of the State of Bavaria and Max Mayer as representatives of the Federal Ministry of Scientific Research. The key topic for the first Supervisory Board meetings – apart from the appointment of the managing directors – was an approach to overcome the company’s early financial difficulties. The image shows the participants of the meeting on 16 April 1964. From the left: Albert Wahl, Helmuth Sachse, Dr. Theodor Benecke, Dr. Theodor Schultes (Management Science), Herbert Köppel (Chairman), Ludwig Heigl, Hans Pasche (Dep. Chairman), Dr. Klaus Kopfermann (Management Technology), Max Mayer, Dr. Gerhard Ritter (Management Commerce) and Fritz Troll.

1961   Foundation of company – the first facilities develop
The history of IABG began on 7 February 1961. Representatives of the Federal Ministry of Defence and the Federal Industrieverwaltungsgesellschaft (IVG) met with member companies of GfF (Gesellschaft für Flugtechnik) and jointly decided to establish the ABG (Anlagenbetriebsgesellschaft) company. This step had been preceded by the desire of the German aviation industry and the Secretary of Defence, Franz Josef Strauss, to create vendor-independent test facilities for aircraft development. In the same year, the establishment of the facility began in Ottobrunn near Munich. By 1964, construction of the main buildings had been completed.