After L3Harris Technologies acquired one of the two U.S.-based solid rocket motor providers in July, the new division’s chief embarked on a tour of the sector. Ross Niebergall spent nearly two months reviewing propulsion production processes for critical weapons such as the Javelin, Stinger, and Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System. One of his main goals was to find ways to open up the military’s constricted pipeline for rocket motors.
The $4.7 billion purchase made L3Harris a key player in the lucrative world of missiles, munitions, and hypersonic technologies. Analysts predict that this sector will continue to grow amid global turmoil, potentially reaching a market value of $85 billion to $93 billion by the end of the decade.
The increasing demand for rocket and missile propulsion has led to further acquisitions, partnerships, and expansions in the industry. Anduril Industries, for example, acquired solid rocket manufacturer Adranos in June, giving them a foothold in the missile market. X-Bow Systems, a small aerospace firm, received a $64 million contract from the Pentagon to supply solid rocket motors for hypersonic boost propulsion systems. Lockheed Martin is also in negotiations to partner with a rocket propulsion supplier.
The Pentagon’s budget for missiles and munitions procurement, as well as research and development, has significantly increased over the last decade. Lawmakers are pressuring the Pentagon to catch up with China and Russia in developing hypersonic weapons. This growing demand for rocket motors has created opportunities for companies to position themselves in the market.
Overall, the rocket propulsion industry is experiencing growth and is expected to continue expanding in the coming years. The acquisition of key players, partnerships, and increased investments in research and development will help meet the demand for critical parts and systems in the defense industry.