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Boeing and Lockheed Martin to merge satellite launch operations

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by Brian Turner
Boeing and Lockheed Martin to merge satellite launch operations

Boeing and Lockheed Martin have apparently overcome several years of civil litigation and suspension of Boeing’s U.S. Air Force Contracts to propose a merger of the two companies’ satellite launch operations.

The litigation and ethics scandal that resulted in Boeing’s suspension from $1 billion in contracts grew out of accusations that Boeing had used proprietary information belonging to Lockheed to win an Air Force contract in 1998.

The proposed merger, which would save the government an estimated $100 million to $150 million per year, will effectively put an end to the U.S. government strategy that keeps two launch services available to the military.

The Air Force supports the planned merger, which would preserve each company’s rockets – Lockheed’s Atlas V series and Boeing’s Delta IV rockets – but would combine the two companies’ supportive infrastructure, including administration, launch, and manufacturing operations.

One reason for this merger is said to be the collapse in the market for commercial launches that was expected in the 1990s, when the two-launch operations strategy was created, to provide enough contracts for two separate entities.

The merger must be approved by the US government.

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News posted: May 3, 2005

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