Leahy: $13.6 M. Navy Contract Extension Will Take Goodrich-Vergennes Well Past Its Milestone 2000th Helicopter Diagnostics Unit

VERGENNES, Vt. – Senator Patrick Leahy Thursday announced that the U.S. Navy will award Goodrich a new $13,642,763 contract for continued work on the company’s helicopter diagnostic system, which is managed by the firm’s facility here.  The innovative system for helicopter safety and maintenance already has earned the company more than $100 million in defense contracts, and Leahy last month joined Goodrich employees at the facility to mark shipment of the 2000th system.  Work on the new contract is expected to be completed by 2011.

Goodrich’s Health and Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS) give mechanics feedback on a helicopter’s engine performance, structural performance and rotor function and wear, allowing a helicopter to be serviced before major system failures.  Before the use of HUMS units, helicopters were taken out of service for routine preventative maintenance.  This practice unnecessarily grounded some helicopters that did not need servicing while failing to anticipate mechanical failures in some others. 

The HUMS units now are onboard a variety of military and commercial helicopters including the Blackhawk, Chinook, Huey, Cobra and Lakota.  The Vermont Air National Guard’s newly arrived Blackhawk helicopters stationed in Burlington feature HUMS units. 

“The success of HUMS is a win for our pilots, for Addison County’s economy and for taxpayers,” Leahy said in a statement.  “This work helps keep our helicopters flying safely, and these jobs are an important factor in our economy.”   He met with Goodrich employees at the Vergennes plant on March 8 to celebrate the shipment of the 2000th HUMS system. 

Leahy has led in supporting the HUMS program through his work as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of its Defense Subcommittee, which handles the Senate’s work in writing the annual Defense Department budget bill.

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