Lockheed Martin to buy up to 25 rocket launches from Firefly Aerospace

Lockheed Martin's logo is seen during Japan Aerospace 2016 air show in Tokyo

(Reuters) - Lockheed Martin has entered a purchase agreement with Firefly Aerospace for up to 25 launches on its Alpha rocket by 2029, the U.S. defense contractor said on Wednesday.

Texas-based Firefly makes small and medium launch vehicles for commercial launches to orbit. Its small-launch vehicle, Alpha, will fly Lockheed's spacecraft and payload into low-Earth orbit from its facilities on west and east coasts, Lockheed said.

The companies did not disclose the financial details of the deal. The lower-cost launch vehicles would help reduce risk for its self-funded technology demonstration missions, Lockheed said.

Profit at its space division jumped in its latest quarter, benefiting from higher launch volume in United Launch Alliance, its joint venture with planemaker Boeing.

Boeing and Lockheed merged their rocket programs in 2006 and are looking to sell the jointly-owned venture, media reports said.

(Reporting by Pratyush Thakur in Bengaluru; Editing by Mohammed Safi Shamsi)