Lockheed’s Astrolink May Be Scrapped

Bloomberg News

Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Astrolink venture probably will disband because it failed to raise the additional $2.4 billion needed to launch the satellite-based Internet and telecommunications service, analysts said.

TRW Inc., which owns 19% of Astrolink, told employees Friday that the venture has been suspended, said Roger Rusch, an industry consultant. TRW wasn’t available for comment. Lockheed Chief Financial Officer Christopher Kubasik said Friday that Lockheed, which pledged $400 million, won’t invest more.

TRW plans to “immediately destaff” the project and mothball the payloads it was developing for the satellites, Rusch said.

Astrolink, based in Bethesda, Md., is “evaluating all available alternatives,” said Arlene Taffera, a company spokeswoman. She declined to elaborate.