Alken Industries Inc., a Ronkonkoma aerospace contractor, has landed a parts contract worth up to $3.2 million for the A-10 Warthog, the Cold War-era close-support attack jet that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has urged be retired.
Alken executives said that regardless of the Pentagon's position, the Air Force is continuing to solicit bids on parts for the four-decade-old jet, whose nickname derives from its snub-nosed appearance.
"We have a physical contract in our hands," said Alken chief executive Kimberly Senior. "If the Air Force gave me a contract, I have to believe they want the parts."
Senior said the contract for thrust fittings, which support the engines, is significant for a company with revenue of about $15 million per year.
"To get a $3 million contract on one part number is exceptional for us," she said.
CPI Aerostructures Inc., based in Edgewood, took a $44.7 million noncash charge in August in the belief that its program to make leading edges for A-10 replacement wings as a Boeing subcontractor will be halted.
CPI Aero said it had decided to take the charge in part because of a fiscal 2015 defense appropriations bill passed by the House of Representatives in June that included no funding for A-10 operations.
The full Senate has yet to pass a defense bill, but Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and others have voiced support for the jet.
In any case, Alken chief operating officer Jim Madden said, retiring the A-10 would be a slow process. "Nothing happens overnight with a military platform," he said.
The private Long Island company has about 50 employees. It would not need to increase its workforce to execute the contract, which could run up to five years, he said.
The A-10 was built by Fairchild-Republic Co., the Farmingdale company that closed in 1987.