(Hartford, CT)- Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) announced a $46,388,901 multi-year Department of Defense contract for Timken Aerospace Transmissions in Manchester for the maintenance and overhaul of the AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter main transmission. In May, Blumenthal and Murphy wrote a letter urging the Department of the Army to avoid foreign sourcing and ensure a qualified domestic manufacturer for the proposed multi-year acquisition of approximately 240 AH-Apache helicopters.
“This sizeable contract awarded to Timken Aerospace is not only a major win for the viability of our domestic defense industrial base, but a true testament to Connecticut’s robust defense manufacturing industry,” said Blumenthal and Murphy. “We are confident that the skilled, dedicated workforce at Timken Aerospace will continue to deliver the quality components of the Apache Attack Helicopter that are vital to the durability of our armed forces and national security. The Army made a wise decision to support the utilization of American-made components in the Army’s aviation fleet, and the Department of Defense should continue to award contracts that create jobs and foster economic growth here at home.”
Last year, Blumenthal visited Timken Aerospace with United States Army Aviation Program Brigadier General Robert Marion to discuss Apache contracting and prospects and support for Connecticut defense manufacturing. Murphy has introduced two pieces of legislation that aim to strengthen existing standards and prioritize the purchase of American-made goods, the 21st Century Buy American Act and the American Jobs Matter Act.
Timken Aerospace Transmissions, based in Manchester, Connecticut, provides a wide range of aerospace solutions encompassing precision bearings, reliable replacement parts and comprehensive component overhaul services for aerospace applications.
The full text of the letter is copied below:
Dear Secretary Shyu:
The Army recently issued a request for proposal on a multi-year acquisition of approximately 240 AH-64 Apache helicopters from FY 2017 to FY 2021. In structuring this acquisition, we urge you to avoid foreign sourcing of key Block III components and ensure a qualified domestic manufacturer is available to guarantee stable sourcing throughout the service life of the program.
Foreign sourcing costs American jobs and threatens the vitality of the domestic defense industrial base. Last year alone, the Department of Defense spent over $1.3 billion on foreign airframes, aircraft engines and other aircraft equipment. Given the number of times that the Buy American Act is waived or an authorized exception is used in defense contracts, we are concerned that unfettered continuation of this trend will cost vital American jobs and weaken our domestic defense industrial base. Maintaining a strong domestic base protects American jobs and ensures stable sourcing of critical components.
Qualified domestic sources guarantee stability throughout the life of the Apache acquisition program. In 2013, after the foreign sole source supplier of AH-64 transmissions lost its ability to maintain required production levels, the Army resorted to removing transmissions from existing aircraft for installation in units coming off the assembly line. These circumstances reinforce the necessity of a vibrant domestic industrial base that is able to timely supply major Apache components and precision components for the duration of the contract.
Thank you for your consideration of this important issue. We look forward to working with you to increase the utilization of American made components in the Army’s aviation fleet.