Raytheon and United Technologies, two major American aeronautics and defense groups, are poised to announce as early this week plans for a massive merger, according to U.S. media.

The Wall Street Journal revealed on Saturday, citing an anonymous source, that talks have been underway between the two pillars of the aeronautics and defense industries worldwide.

The merger, which would take place solely through an exchange of shares, would create an enterprise with a market value of $168 billion. Unless the negotiations break down, a deal is expected to be announced in the coming days, a source close to the matter told the Journal.