Lockheed Martin has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Sikorsky Aircraft from United Technologies (UTC) for $9bn.

United Technologies is expected to use the transaction proceeds to fund additional share repurchase to reduce the impact on earnings related to the sale.

UTC president and CEO Gregory Hayes said: "Exiting the helicopter business will allow UTC to better focus on providing high-technology systems and services to the aerospace and building industries and to deliver improved and sustained value to our customers and shareowners."

Lockheed expects the acquisition to help extend its core business into the growing areas of helicopter production and sustainment.

Lockheed Martin chairman, president and CEO Marillyn Hewson said: "Sikorsky is a natural fit for Lockheed Martin and complements our broad portfolio of world-class aerospace and defence products and technologies."

"Together, we’ll offer a strong portfolio of helicopter solutions to our global customers and accelerate the pace of innovation and new technology development."

Sikorsky is planned to be aligned under the Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training (MST) business segment.

"Sikorsky is a natural fit for Lockheed Martin and complements our broad portfolio of world-class aerospace and defence products."

At present, MST and Sikorsky are jointly implementing programmes, which include the VH-92 presidential helicopter, combat rescue helicopter, and the naval MH-60 helicopter.

Separately, Lockheed Martin is planning to undertake a strategic alternatives review for its government IT and technical services. This review will be focus primarily on Information Systems and Global Solutions, as well as a part of the Missiles and Fire Control business segment.

Hewson added: "As global security market dynamics shift, this review will strengthen our competitive posture, enabling sustained, profitable growth and positioning Lockheed Martin to deliver value for customers, shareholders and employees."

Subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions and adjustments, the transaction is scheduled to be completed by the first quarter of 2016.

Image: A Sikorsky S-97 Raider helicopter. Photo: courtesy of United Technologies Corporation.