On 6 June, Northrop Grumman’s proposed acquisition of fellow aerospace manufacturer Orbital ATK was approved by the US FTC (Federal Trade Commission). The acquired business has been renamed Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems and incorporated into the company as its fourth business sector, alongside Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Mission Systems and Technology Services.
In giving permission for the acquisition the FTC had one major provision, concerning Orbital ATK’s solid rocket motor business. Northrop Grumman must ensure that it supplies the motors “a non-discriminatory basis under specified circumstances”.
This is because there are only two remaining solid rocket motor manufacturers in the US, Aerojet Rocketdyne and Orbital ATK – now part of Northrop Grumman. Since Northrop Grumman and Boeing are both competing for the Department of Defense’s “Ground Based Strategic Deterrent” award, the FTC was concerned about ensuring competition in the industry.
To read our earlier story concerning the purchase please follow this link.