05.29.12

Leahy Announces $9.9 M. Army Contract For Work On Goodrich’s Helicopter Diagnostics System

Vergennes-Made HUMS Units Have Become Vital On U.S. Helicopters

(TUESDAY, May 29) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced a new $9,921,634 U.S. Army contract with the Goodrich Corporation for 80 additional units of its groundbreaking helicopter maintenance diagnostic system, produced at the company’s facility in Vergennes, Vt.

The Army is purchasing Goodrich’s Health and Usage Management Systems (HUMS), which give mechanics feedback on a helicopter’s engine performance, structural performance and rotor wear, allowing it to be serviced before major systems fail.  The contract, which is for Army Black Hawk helicopters, continues Goodrich-Vergennes’ work on the successful project.  HUMS units, much in demand, already are onboard a variety of military and commercial helicopters including Black Hawks, Chinooks, Hueys, Cobras and Lakotas.  The Vermont Air National Guard’s Black Hawk helicopters stationed in Burlington also feature HUMS units. 

Before HUMS, helicopters had to be removed from service for routine maintenance, an inherently costly and inefficient practice.  Worst of all, some pilots lost their lives in accidents caused by unforeseen but preventable mechanical problems.  HUMS units give maintenance crews the opportunity to predict and take action to prevent such tragedies.

Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee, is a longtime supporter of Goodrich’s work in Vergennes, including securing earmarks to fund the technology that is the foundation of HUMS.  Leahy said:  “It started as an R&D project, but HUMS has become a life-saving and cost-saving tool that is quickly becoming indispensable.  HUMS now is standard equipment on U.S. military helicopters.  These contracts mean high-tech jobs for Vermont, and I am so proud to see this work being done in Vermont and by Vermonters.”

Tony Wurmel, general manager of Goodrich Sensors and Integrated Systems in Vergennes, said:  “This award highlights the value that the Goodrich HUMS brings in lowering operating and maintenance costs while enhancing safety for Army’s Black Hawk fleet. We thank Senator Leahy for his strong support over the last decade in helping the Army equip its frontline helicopter fleet with this cost-effective system; it will help the troops remain effective and maintain the fleet at high readiness in an uncertain world.” 

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