OEM : Aerospace
Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world-class developer and manufacturer of advanced propulsion and energetics systems for customers including the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA and other agencies and companies, both in the United States and abroad. Our markets include space, where we provide a full range of propulsion and power systems for launch vehicles, satellites and other space vehicles; strategic missiles; missile defense; and tactical systems and armaments. Our propulsion systems, both liquid- and solid-fueled, have been at the heart of virtually every major U.S. space and missile program since the dawn of the space age. All of our products are manufactured at ISO 9001/AS 9100-certified facilities around the country.
Defense Contractor L3Harris Plans to Buy Aerojet Rocketdyne for $4.7 Billion
Defense firm L3Harris Technologies Inc. said it agreed to buy Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. in a $4.7 billion deal that would cement L3Harris’s role as one of six prime defense contractors for the Pentagon. Aerojet is a major maker of engines used in missiles, such as the Javelin deployed in Ukraine. Its products also help power National Aeronautics and Space Administration rockets and U.S. military hypersonic systems designed to deter China’s military expansion. Aerojet was put back up for sale after federal regulators in January sued to block its planned $4.4 billion purchase by Lockheed Martin Corp. on antitrust grounds, sparking a bitter internal board battle.
Additive for Aerospace: Welcome to the New Frontier
Gao, a tech fellow and AM technical lead at Aerojet Rocketdyne, is particularly interested in the 3D printing of heat-resistant superalloys (HRSAs) and a special group of elements known as refractory metals. The first of these enjoy broad use in gas turbines and rocket engines, but it’s the latter that offers the greatest potential for changing the speed and manner in which humans propel aircraft, spacecraft, and weaponry from Point A to Point B.
“When you print these materials, they typically become both stronger and harder than their wrought or forged equivalents,” he said. “The laser promotes the creation of a supersaturated solid solution with fantastic properties, ones that cannot be achieved otherwise. When you combine this with AM’s ability to generate shapes that were previously impossible to manufacture, it presents some very exciting possibilities for the aerospace industry.”
Eric Barnes, a fellow of advanced and additive manufacturing at Northrop Grumman, says “Northrop Grumman and its customers are now in a position to more readily adopt additive manufacturing and prepare to enter that plateau of productivity because we have spent the past few years collecting the required data and generating the statistical information needed to ensure long term use of additive manufacturing in an aeronautical environment… In the future, you may be able to eliminate NDT completely. Comprehensive build data will also serve to reduce qualification timelines, and if you’re able to understand all that’s going on inside the build chamber in real-time, machine learning and AI systems might be able to adjust process parameters such that you never have a bad part.”