CHICAGO, May 2 (UPI) -- Two major defense firms, the Boeing Co. of Chicago and the Lockheed Martin Corp. of Maryland, have joined in a venture to make rockets for the military.
The joint venture, named United Launch Alliance, is expected to result in annual savings for the U.S. government of up to $150 million.
The agreement, subject to U.S. and international government and regulatory approval, also requires the companies to drop pending civil litigation related to the rocket launch business.
Boeing and Lockheed must immediately request an order from U.S. District Court suspending all activity in the pending civil litigation related to a previous competition for launches under the Air Force EELV program. Simultaneous with the closing of the transaction, the parties will dismiss all claims against each other.
"The mission of this joint venture is to reliably meet critical launch needs, so it is imperative that the two teams come together as one with all lingering issues resolved," said Robert Stevens, Lockheed Martin's chairman, president and chief executive. "When agreement was reached to form this alliance, both parties agreed that they were ready to move forward with a clean slate and an undistracted focus on mission success."