Business & Real Estate

Aerojet gets development contract with Air Force

Aerojet Rocketdyne provided rocket thrusters for the Orion Crew Module, which will eventually take astronauts to Mars and back. Aerojet entered into an agreement with the Air Force and United Launch Alliance to develop an American-made engine to replace the Russian-built RD-180 engines that are currently used to launch military rockets into space.
Aerojet Rocketdyne provided rocket thrusters for the Orion Crew Module, which will eventually take astronauts to Mars and back. Aerojet entered into an agreement with the Air Force and United Launch Alliance to develop an American-made engine to replace the Russian-built RD-180 engines that are currently used to launch military rockets into space.

Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. said Monday it has entered into an agreement with the Air Force and another aerospace company to develop a rocket engine system called the AR1.

Under the public-private partnership, Rancho Cordova-based Aerojet will work with United Launch Alliance, a company with which it has had a rocky relationship. Last fall, United Launch spurned a takeover bid from Aerojet and also announced it would no longer buy rocket boosters from Aerojet.

The deal with the Air Force calls for the government to put in two-thirds of the development dollars, with Aerojet and United Launch putting in the remaining third, for a total of $804 million. The Air Force wants to develop an American-made engine to replace the Russian-built RD-180 engines that are currently used to launch military rockets into space.

Aerojet shares closed at $15.53, down 13 cents, in regular New York Stock Exchange trading, which concluded before the Air Force program was announced. The company’s shares jumped 7 cents, to $15.60, in after-hours trading.

Dale Kasler: 916-321-1066, @dakasler

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