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CPI Aero to supply Marine copter parts

CPI Aero supplies parts for AH-1Z, shown here

CPI Aero supplies parts for AH-1Z, shown here with weapons array. Photo Credit: Marine Corps

CPI Aerostructures Inc., an Edgewood aircraft parts maker, has a new $1.4 million add-on order to build parts for the new generation of Marine Corps AH-1Z attack helicopters.

The order follows an initial contract, in March, for AH-1Z parts supplied to the prime contractor, Bell Helicopter.

Shipments of the newly ordered parts should start early next year, CPI Aero chief executive Edward Fred said in a Monday news release.

The Marine Corps plans to use the helicopter in Afghanistan and is budgeting for a total of more than 180 for its expeditionary and reserve forces in coming years.

CPI makes military fuselage, wing and door panels for a range of other commercial and defense customers. 

With a market capitalization of $68 million, CPI has about 125 employees and trades on the American Stock Exchange, where its share price has remained stable during the past 12 months, rising about a half-percent.

CPI, listed in the Russell MicroCap Index, in August reported annual sales of $1.5 million on revenue of $17.4 million, up from last year's $1.2 million income on $12.5 million sales.

CPI Aero on Monday also described, in general terms, a separate contract. CPI said it "has received authorization from an existing customer for work on an existing program that adds more than $15.7 million to its current backlog." The company did not immediately provide details on the deal, which it said was unrelated to the AH-1Z program.

CPI Aero also supplies parts for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye surveillance aircraft, the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, the MH-60S mine countermeasure helicopter, C-5A Galaxy cargo jet, the A-10 Thunderbolt attack jet, and the E-3 Sentry AWACS jet.

CPI Aero in August reported that it had increased its quarterly sales and profit mostly due to subcontracting work on the Fairchild Republic A-10 attack jet and a Northrop Grumman Corp. E-2D surveillance airplane. 

Revenue from the two aircraft accounted for about three-fourths of CPI Aero's government subcontracting revenue and about 58 percent of total revenue for first half of 2011.

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