Image copyrightGetty ImagesNorthrop Grumman has confirmed a deal to buy missile and rocket maker Orbital Atk that is worth about $7.8bn (£5.7bn) in cash.
The takeover is Northrop's first big deal for several years and is a departure from its focus of returning profits to shareholders.
Image copyrightGetty ImagesLast month Northrop won a $328m contract to develop a replacement of the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile system for the US Air Force.
Northrop is also the prime contractor for the B-21 bomber, as well as the maker of the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle.
Earlier this month, aerospace supplier United Technologies said it was buying avionics and interiors maker Rockwell Collins in a $30bn deal - the biggest in the industry's history.
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