06.24.11

Leahy: General Dynamics of Williston Nets Nearly $300 M. Army Contract For More Hydra Rockets

(JUNE 24) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has announced a $285,970,132.30 extension of a U.S. Army contract with General Dynamics Armaments and Technical Products.  Of the contract total, 71 percent will pay for work, managed in Williston, on Hydra 2.75-inch rockets.  The contract will sustain 40 jobs at the General Dynamics Williston facility, which employs 400 workers. 

The U.S. Army Contracting Command in Redstone Arsenal, Ala., awarded the contract, exercising an option on an existing contract.  Work is set to run until September 2015.

Leahy is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of its Defense Subcommittee, which handles the Senate’s work in writing the annual defense budget bills.  He has championed annual budget requests for the Hydra rocket program over several years and also has supported the work done at General Dynamics’ Williston facility through a variety of other programs in the Department of Defense, including long-distance explosive device detection systems.  

“This new General Dynamics contract extension is a vote of confidence in the work done in Williston on this project, and this also is a timely tonic for our local economy,” said Leahy.  “I’m proud to support these high-tech jobs that help keep the engine of Vermont’s economy running steadily.” 

“General Dynamics appreciates Senator Leahy’s continued support for the Hydra rocket program,” said Russ Klein, vice president and general manager of weapon systems for General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products. “Maintaining production of this cost-effective, versatile and combat-proven weapon enhances the protection and mission success of the U.S. military and its allies.”

The Hydra rocket system is used by the Army, Navy, Marines and U.S. Special Operations Command on their fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.  The rockets are used for both tactical and training purposes.  In overseas operations, Hydra rockets give U.S. forces an edge through enhanced close-in aerial combat support.  Hydra rockets have proven crucial for air-to-ground suppression operations that have saved the lives of American forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan. 

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