04.19.12

Leahy: Navy Awards $8.1 M. Contract To Kaman Composites

Bennington-Based Aerospace Company Secures More Work On Navy Helicopters

(THURSDAY, April 19) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced that Vermont-based Kaman Composites has landed part of a major contract to provide parts for Sikorsky’s MH-60R helicopter, a new variant of the Navy’s helicopter replacing the SH-60B Seahawks. .  Kaman manufactures radomes, enclosures designed to protect a helicopter’s radar antenna, which are made of a composite materials that allows radar waves to pass through the material.

Kaman, which subcontracts with primary contractor Lockheed Martin, is already completing its original multiyear contract to provide radomes for MH-60Rs. The additional $8.1 million announced by Leahy is a follow-on multiyear contract for additional components.

Seahawks, the backbone of the Navy’s helicopter force, are an aging fleet, and the MH-60R is an upgraded variant. The new Seahawk model features, among many improvements, both long-range search radar for detecting surface vessels, and “dipping” sonar for tracking submarines — capabilities previously divided between two separate versions of the helicopter.  Leahy noted that Kaman’s technology is crucial to ensuring these newly integrated capabilities function properly.

Bill Berg, the director of aerospace sales at Kaman Composites-Vermont in Bennington, said, “Our highly skilled work force is proud to continue their contribution to the MH-60R program helping to protect the Navy’s surface fleet against advanced threats.”

Leahy, a senior member of the Defense Department’s budget committee – the Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee, which handles the Senate’s work in writing the Pentagon’s budget -- said he is proud to see Kaman continue working on cutting-edge technology that supports high-skill jobs in Vermont.

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