A boardroom battle at Aerojet Rocketdyne clouds the Pentagon supplier’s future

Aerojet is a supplier to defense companies and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and is in the middle of an internal legal fight, pitting a board faction led by Aerojet Chief Executive Officer Eileen Drake against one headed by Warren Lichtenstein, the company’s executive chairman.

Mr. Lichtenstein, a veteran hedge-fund manager who has pursued activist campaigns at other companies, also heads an investment firm seeking control of Aerojet’s board.

The boardroom dispute became public after antitrust enforcers at the Federal Trade Commission in January sued to block the Lockheed Martin deal, which led the company to drop its bid for Aerojet on Feb. 13. The agency argued a deal would harm rival defense contractors and lead to unacceptable consolidation in markets critical to national security.

Ms. Drake and Mr. Lichtenstein both have three allies on the eight-member board, according to lawsuits the two competing factions…

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