WASHINGTON — L3Harris told investors July 26 that federal regulators will not challenge the company’s acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne, clearing the way for the deal to close as early as July 28.

“We were advised today that the Federal Trade Commission will not block our acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne; therefore, we are moving forward to close the transaction on or about July 28,” Christopher Kubasik, chair and chief executive of L3Harris, said in a letter to investors.

$4.7 billion deal

Defense contractor L3Harris in December announced a $4.7 billion bid to acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne, a manufacturer of rocket engines and propulsion systems for space vehicles, ballistic missiles and military tactical weapons. 

Kubasik previously said he expected the deal to go through because it’s not a vertical merger, and L3Harris does not compete with Aerojet Rocketdyne. “They make rocket motors and rocket engines and we do not. We are not a customer of theirs. They are not a customer of ours,” he said.

Previous buyer blocked by FTC

L3Harris moved to acquire Aerojet nearly two years after Lockheed Martin sought to buy the rocket engine maker in a $4.4 billion bid that was blocked by antitrust regulators.

The FTC argued that Lockheed Martin — a major supplier of tactical missiles — should not own a provider of critical components needed to build competing missiles.

L3Harris said the acquisition of Aerojet will give the company a greater footprint in civil space, strategic defense systems and precision munitions.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...