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Sep 10 2015

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Aerojet Rocketdyne is close to buying ULA

Aerojet Rocketdyne Wants to Buy ULA. They have apparently been in serious discussions for a while. From an “arranging deck chairs on the Titanic”, this seems to make sense for both parties.

AJR would be buying its own customers, which could make sense from an integration standpoint, plus I would imagine that AJR would streamline the number of launch vehicles offered currently by ULA — both steps carry the potential of reducing costs.

As the article notes, ULA had a monopoly on government launches from 2006 until SpaceX got certified. Even with the launch failure of CRS-7, it is my opinion (posted many times here) that ultimately, ULA will not be able to compete with SpaceX, much less other potential customers on the horizon like Blue Origin. I’m sure behind closed doors, LM and Boeing are both happy to get rid of the ULA albatross before it really starts tanking.

Bottom Line:
This is a bold attempt by Aerojet Rocketdyne to stay in the game, but ultimately it will not survive. The changes required to make the ULA component of their business competitive are several bridges too far.

Update:
Just saw this: ULA and Blue Origin Announce Production Agreement for American-Made BE-4 Engine. Interesting timing, to say the least. Perhaps AJR is looking to get out of the engine business altogether and instead become a rocket provider?? Buying ULA would now necessitate using a competitor for ULA’s next generation of rocket.

Very, very interesting. Especially the timing of all this.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/09/10/aerojet-rocketdyne-is-close-to-buying-ula/

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