11.23.10

Leahy: General Dynamics Of Burlington And Lyndonville Firm Win More Work On Bradley Fighting Vehicles

(TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY, Nov. 23/24) – Senator Patrick Leahy reports that General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, which maintains an engineering division in Burlington, has been awarded a $94.6 million order from the U.S. Army to continue production of reactive armor for 440 Bradley Fighting Vehicles.  

General Dynamics’ reactive armor system uses special tiles that fasten to the exterior of the Bradley Fighting Vehicles, allowing them to better withstand direct hits from a variety of anti-armor munitions.

As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of its Defense Subcommittee, Leahy was instrumental early on in promoting the concept of Bradley reactive armor tiles.  He sought funding for the project each year in five successive defense budget bills, securing more than $93 million for the project from 2003 to 2006.  The Army offered the current contract for competitive bids, and the contract was won by General Dynamics.

A substantial proportion of the work will be completed in Vermont, totaling about $27 million.  Leahy said the work will sustain 10 General Dynamics program management and engineering jobs in Burlington.  He said additional work under the contract will sustain about 60 production jobs at Vermont Aerospace Manufacturing of Lyndonville, which manufactures the outer shell of each tile.   Earlier this month the Lyndonville firm announced it had become 100 percent employee owned with the assistance of the Vermont Employee Ownership Center, an organization Leahy has helped with federal grants that are used to provide technical assistance to Vermont firms. 

“This armor program directly supports our troops and their missions,” said Leahy.  “In securing these early investments, I believed that the armor program would prove its value, and it has.  The Bradley reactive armor program has become a mainstay in the President’s budget requests to Congress.  General Dynamics has put these contracts to good use for our troops and for Vermont’s economy, creating and keeping good jobs in Burlington and the Northeast Kingdom.”

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