Lockheed Martin to acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne for $4.4 billion

Space

James Taiclet, Lockheed Martin’s president and CEO, said the acquisition gives the company a larger footprint in space and hypersonic technology. 

WASHINGTON — The largest U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin announced Dec. 20 it has inked a deal to acquire rocket engine and missile manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne for $4.4 billion. 

James Taiclet, Lockheed Martin’s president and CEO, said the acquisition gives the company a larger footprint in space and hypersonic technology. 

He said Aerojet Rocketdyne’s propulsion systems already are key components of Lockheed Martin’s supply chain across several business areas. 

“The proposed acquisition adds substantial expertise in propulsion to Lockheed Martin’s portfolio,” the company said in a news release.

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s 2019 revenues were approximately $2 billion. The company, headquartered in El Segundo, California, has nearly 5,000 employees. Aerojet Rocketdyne was formed in 2013 when GenCorp’s Aerojet and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne were merged,

The company produces tactical and strategic missiles for the Defense Department. Its rocket engines portfolio includes the RL-10 that powers the upper stage of United Launch Alliance’s Delta 4 and Atlas 5 launch vehicles (Lockheed Martin owns 50 percent of United Launch Alliance) and the RS-25 engines for NASA’s Space Launch System.

Aerojet Rocketdyne is working to qualify a new version called RL10C-X that will include major components built using 3-D printing technology.

With Pentagon funding, the company developed a new rocket engine called AR-1 that was positioned to compete to be the main engine of ULA’s new Vulcan launch vehicle but ULA ended up selecting Blue Origin’s BE-4.

The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2021. It is subject to regulatory approvals and has yet to be approved by Aerojet Rocketdyne’s stockholders. 

Lockheed Martin said a transition team will be formed to help ease the integration and ensure continuity for customers and employees.

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