As reported by Reuters, L3Harris Technologies is set to acquire rocket engine maker Aerojet Rocketdyne. The amount of the deal is $4.7 billion. The reason for the acquisition is the war in Ukraine.
The fact is that Aerojet Rocketdyne was originally going to be acquired by the well-known defense contractor Raytheon Technologies, but in February 2022 the US Federal Trade Commission blocked this merger on antitrust grounds. In relation to L3Harris, there are no such fears, because this company, although it fulfills Pentagon contracts, specializes primarily in information and sensor technologies. For example, the Ukrainian military uses L3Harris‘s digital radio stations.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is known as the maker of the rocket engines that launched the Space Shuttle, sent men to the Moon in the 1960s, and is about to return them now. Space Launch System used in the Artemis 1 mission, has the RS-25 engines left over from the shuttles. But, in addition to engines for launch vehicles, Aerojet Rocketdyne also manufactures solid-fuel engines for military missile systems. In particular, for ATGM FGM-148 Javelin, MANPADS FIM-92 Stinger, GMLRS missiles for M142 HIMARS and M270 MLRS, anti-aircraft missiles for air defense systems MIM -104 Patriot and so on.
The deal, which must be agreed with the US government, is due to be completed in 2023. The production of solid-fuel engines is a critical area, the need for additional missiles due to the depletion of reserves is very high, so most likely the Pentagon will be all in favor of such a merger.