On the attack, CPI Aero lands the Viper

Sky king: Edgewood-based CPI Aerostructures will be contributing key components to the assembly of new AH-1Z attack helicopters.

Longtime Long Island defense contractor CPI Aerostructures has landed a sizeable deal to work on an advanced military attack helicopter.

The Edgewood-based manufacturer said this week it has received an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract from Bell Helicopter, a Texas-based subsidiary of Rhode Island-based Textron Inc. that’s responsible for the AH-1Z Viper.

CPI Aero will manufacture engine-cowl assemblies and support assemblies for the gunship, under an open-ended contract that runs through December 2020. The IDIQ contract carries a potential value of $14.8 million, according to the subcontractor, which has manufactured similar assemblies for the AH-1Z Viper since 2011, racking up more than $6.8 million in orders.

The Viper is a twin-engine, armor-plated attack ship used by the U.S. Marine Corps since 2010. Built to carry “the widest array of ordinance” of any helicopter in the world, according to CPI Aero, it packs Bell Helicopter’s next-level Target Sight System, which boasts the longest range of any military attack helicopter.

In May 2016, Bell Helicopter was awarded a contract for 16 AH-1Z helicopters through the Marine Corps’ H-1 Helicopter Program, which is designed to upgrade the corps’ aging helicopter fleet and calls for an additional 189 freshly minted Vipers to be pressed into service.

The follow-on deal with Bell Helicopter rewards CPI Aero’s strategy “to secure strong positions within key national security programs such as the AH-1Z,” CPI Aero President and CEO Douglas McCrosson said Tuesday.

“It is extremely satisfying that our focus on quality, value and customer service has resulted in CPI Aero continuing this work into the next decade,” McCrosson said.

CPI Aero, a longstanding Tier 1 supplier to private and federal government Original Equipment Manufacturers and Tier 2 subcontractor to major Tier 1 manufacturers, is a longtime U.S. Department of Defense prime contractor. And its efforts are hardly limited to whirlybirds: In September, the Edgewood manufacturer announced a new $2.7 million contract to work on components of the U.S. Navy’s EA-18G Growler fighter plane.