Aerospace/Aircraft SupplyJust in the first quarter of 2014, merger and acquisition deals announced an increase by 14% to 56, according to Irvine, Calif., aerospace investment bank Janes Capital Partners.

Just this week two Washington-area rocket makers — Alliant Techsystems Inc. and Orbital Sciences Corp. — announced plans to combine aerospace and defense units in a $5 billion merger.  A merger between Rocketdyne and Aerojet, two iconic California rocket and missile companies, was also finalized last year.

“We are on the cusp of a major merger wave in aerospace and defense,” said Stephen Perry, managing director at Janes. “As budgets decline, it’s very logical for these firms to go out looking for ways to combine businesses.”

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