WASHINGTON — L3Harris Technologies on Monday announced it will sell its commercial aviation business to a private-equity firm affiliate for as much as $800 million, in a move to pay down debt and focus more on national security and technology.

The agreement to sell L3Harris’ Commercial Aviation Solutions unit to New York-based private-equity firm TJC comes four months after L3Harris closed its $4.7 billion purchase of engine and propulsion firm Aerojet Rocketdyne.

L3Harris chief executive Christopher Kubasik said in a statement the deal will speed up how quickly the company can reach its desired debt load.

“Today’s announcement is consistent with our multi-year strategy to optimize our national security, technology-focused portfolio,” Kubasik said. “Aligned with our capital allocation priorities, we plan to use the proceeds from this transaction to repay debt, which will accelerate our timeline to reach our debt leverage objective.”

L3Harris said in a statement it expects to close the deal in the first half of 2024, if regulators approve.

The company declined to comment further beyond the information in its release. TJC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

About 1,450 people work at L3Harris’ commercial aviation business, whose offerings include pilot training courses and technologies, flight data analytics, avionics and advanced air mobility solutions.

TJC is a middle-market private-equity firm previously known as The Jordan Company.

L3Harris said in its statement the deal could include its surveillance joint venture, and the sale would be subject to a right of first refusal. If that is exercised, the TJC affiliate would acquire the remainder of the commercial aviation business, L3Harris said.

As part of this deal, L3Harris said it would receive $700 million in cash, and a $100 million earnout based on financial performance targets in 2023 and 2024.

Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.

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