Raytheon and United Technologies are merging in an all-stock deal that the two companies say is a merger of equals. The new company's name will be Raytheon Technologies Corp. and is expected to have nearly $74 billion in annual sales. By annual revenue, the size of the merged defense and aerospace company will be second only to Boeing in the U.S., according to the latest Forbes 500 ranking. On that list, Boeing had more than $101 billion in revenue while rival Lockheed Martin racked up $53.7 billion, according to Forbes.

The deal brings together two companies that have been integral to U.S. technology during the past century. United's list of accomplishments range from transmitting the first photo via satellite to receiving the first GPS signal. Raytheon's engineers invented both the microwave oven and Patriot missile. In 1997, Raytheon acquired trailblazing Hughes Aircraft, which was founded by the reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes.

"The combination of United Technologies and Raytheon will define the future of aerospace and defense," said United Technologies Chairman and CEO Greg Hayes in a statement about the deal. Hayes is set to become the leader of the new company, taking the titles of chairman and CEO two years after the merger is finalized.

The deal, unanimously approved by the boards of both companies, will give United Technologies' shareholders around 57 percent and Raytheon shareholders around 43 percent of the new company.

The combination will consolidate the two companies' operations into four businesses: 1) intelligence and aerospace and 2) defense and missile systems, from Raytheon, and 3) Collins Aerospace (the recently acquired Rockwell Collins) and 4) jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney, two of United's high revenue divisions. By the time the deal closes, United Technologies plans to spin off its Otis and Carrier businesses — a move by United Technologies to focus on aerospace and jet engines, which was announced previously.

The headquarters of Raytheon Technologies will be in the Boston metro area, the companies say. Raytheon is currently based in Waltham, Massachusetts, United Technologies in Farmington, Connecticut.

The merger, which requires approval by government regulators and the two companies' shareholders, is expected to close during the first half of 2020.

"By joining forces, we will have unsurpassed technology and expanded R&D capabilities," Hayes said. "Merging our portfolios will also deliver cost and revenue synergies that will create long-term value for our customers and shareowners."

"Raytheon Technologies will continue a legacy of innovation with an expanded aerospace and defense portfolio supported by the world's most dedicated workforce," said Tom Kennedy, Raytheon's current chairman and CEO. He'll be the new company's executive chairman.

The companies have unveiled a website touting the merger.