Lockheed Martin Set To Acquire U.S. Rocket Engine Manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne

January 06, 2021 by Ben Stepanian

Lockheed Martin, one of the United States’ top defense contractors responsible for developing the F22 Raptor, acquired a $4.4 billion contract to absorb Aerojet Rocketdyne.

Aerojet Rocketdyne is an advanced propulsion and energetic systems manufacturer who develops next-generation technology for the space industry and technology for the department of defense. 

Lockheed Martin is set to acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne on March 10th, 2021, along with their 5,000 employees and 15 operation sites across the country. With this deal, Lockheed Martin will indefinitely expand their expertise in propulsion systems and already have Aerojet Rocketdyne technology within its supply chain.


New Competitive Edge

In the aerospace industry, energy consumption is a significant concern. The airline industry alone produces high carbon emissions, and flights are expensive. Lockheed Martin acquiring Aerojet Rocketdyne enables more effective and efficient means of powering aircraft. 

Manufacturing and innovation are rapidly advancing; this means the dawn of a new space age is among us. 

To one day normalize space travel or commercial space travel, measures must first be taken to solve the energy problem. Once this is solved, we will be closer to interplanetary travel at a sustainable level.

This Aerojet Rocketdyne acquisition will reduce manufacturing costs for both current customers and Lockheed Martin's customers. This will also reduce the costs for American taxpayers. 


A satellite using Aerojet Rocketdyne’s green propulsion system. Image courtesy of Aerojet Rocketdyne.


Utilizing Aerojet Rocketdyne’s green propulsion initiatives will enable satellites to be more reliable. This initiative allows satellites to stay in orbit longer and make them more maneuverable. 

These next-generation propellants, known as Hydrazine, reports being 50 percent higher performing than their chemical predecessor. 

"This transaction enhances Lockheed Martin's support of critical U.S. and allied security missions and retains national leadership in space and hypersonic technology. We look forward to welcoming their talented team and expanding Lockheed Martin's position as the leading provider of 21st century warfare solutions," said James Taiclet, Lockheed Martin president and CEO.


Advanced Defense Systems

Lockheed Martin's acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne will further improve the United States Defense systems. Aerojet Rocketdyne possesses newfound Hypersonic propulsion technology, enabling missiles and other vehicles to travel over Mach 5. 


Aerojet Rocketdyne Hypersonic vehicle prototype. Image courtesy of Aerojet Rocketdyne


Aerojet Rocketdyne has supported U.S. defense systems for over 40 years, and the acquisition by Lockheed Martin will accelerate the innovation of both United States defenses and interstellar explorations. 

Maneuverability and agility in aerospace applications are far more advanced with Aerojet Rocketdyne’s developments. This company has a catalog of specifications dedicated to their thrusters and nozzles of varying force output.


In Orbit Manufacturing

With new advancements and the merging of Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne, new manufacturing techniques will be approved and normalized. 

New means of propulsion will enable future projects in space to mimic dry dock production of spacecraft or objects in orbit. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are already making items in space through additive manufacturing methods.

With new mergers and advancements, the plan is to one day launch automated large scale additive manufacturing machines to produce things in space otherwise unable to be launched from earth. The raw material is much simpler to launch into orbit than figuring out methods to package items for a space launch.