The largest U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin has reportedly announced the acquisition of renowned missile manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne for $4.4 billion.
Speaking of this new deal, James Taiclet, Lockheed Martin’s president and CEO stated that the acquisition provides the company with a larger footprint in the field of space and hypersonic technology. Taiclet also stated that propulsion systems from Aerojet Rocketdyne are already the key parts of the supply chain of Lockheed Martin across various business areas and this acquisition will add significant expertise in propulsion to the company’s portfolio.
As per credible sources, the deal is expected to close in the second half of 2021. Further, it is subject to regulatory approvals and is yet to be approved by the stockholders of Aerojet Rocketdyne.
Lockheed Martin has stated that a transition team will be appointed to facilitate the integration and ensure continuity for customers and employees.
For the record, Aerojet Rocketdyne, which is headquartered in El Segundo, California, has around 5,000 employees and was formed in 2013 after the merger of GenCorp’s Aerojet as well as Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. In 2019, the company recorded revenues of nearly $2 billion.
The company manufactures tactical and strategic missiles for the U.S. Defense Department. Its rocket engines portfolio comprises of RL10, which powers the upper stage of United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 and Delta 4 launch vehicles (Lockheed Martin owns 50 percent of United Launch Alliance) and the RS-25 engines for NASA’s Space Launch System.
It has been reported that Aerojet Rocketdyne is working towards qualifying a novel version named RL10C-X that will consist of major components developed using 3-D printing technology. Moreover, with fund allocation from Pentagon, the company has built a new rocket engine called AR1 which was designed to compete to be placed as main engine for the new Vulcan launch vehicle of ULA. However, ULA chose BE-4 developed by Blue Origin.