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Wed, Dec 21, 2022

L3Harris to Acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne

Announcement says Acquisition Good for Cutting Costs, Strengthening National Defense

L3Harris Technologies will acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne after all, buying out the company in an all-cash transaction valued at nearly 5 billion. 

The two companies will bring their respective expertise to the fore, addressing pricing qualms from their biggest government customers. With the civilian-sector space industry growing increasingly competitive by the year, a combined L3Harris/Rocketdyne outfit may allow them to increase the level of competition in the field of rocketry, whether solid motor boosters, scramjets, missiles, or hypersonics. 

“We’ve heard the DoD leadership loud and clear: they want high-quality, innovative and cost-effective solutions to meet both current and emerging threats, and they’re relying upon a strong, competitive industrial base to deliver those solutions,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, L3Harris CEO. “With this acquisition, we will use the combined talents of more than 50,000 employees to drive continuous process improvement, enhance business operations and elevate the performance of this crucial national asset.”

The acquisition is being sold to investors as a way to "ensure the defense industrial base and our customers will have a strengthened merchant supplier to effectively address both current and emerging threats", but how true that is will have to bear out in practice. Aerojet Rocketdyne has what they say is a "100-year heritage" in delivering some of the most significant moments in space exploration". 

Perhaps their resume will prove just the right missing ingredient for l3Harris to begin tackling rising costs and stagnating development in the sector. It comes at just the right time, when the industry begins reconsidering a previously lukewarm stance on hypersonics. A vague sense of that line of thought seems to be found in statements from company brass like Rocketdyne CEO Eileen P. Drake, who describes the deal as a way to bolster national security. 

“Joining L3Harris is a testament to the world-class organization and team we’ve built and represents a natural next phase of our evolution. As part of L3Harris, we will bring our advanced technologies together with their substantial expertise and resources to accelerate our shared purpose: enabling the defense of our nation and space exploration. This is an exciting new chapter for Aerojet Rocketdyne and our over 5,200 dedicated team members, providing them with additional opportunities, and we look forward to working closely with L3Harris to complete this transaction.”

FMI: www.AerojetRocketdyne.com

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