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Vector gets new certification

Vector Aerospace announced Wednesday it has received certification which now allows its Andalusia facility to work on the Bell UH-1 helicopter.

The approval is for both the UH-1 airframe maintenance fixture, as well as for the repair and overhaul for UH-1 dynamic components at the local helicopter maintenance operation.

Ronnie Kearns, Vector’s director of business development for military programs, said the new Bell Helicopter maintenance approvals allow Vector to expand its scope.

“It’s not a new contract in that sense,” Kearns said. “But it does open the door to the possibility of now taking on that work in Andalusia.

“There are a lot of UH-1 helicopters flying in the U.S. and internationally, and now the Vector-Andalusia team have the approval, along with the highly talented workforce, required to win (contracts for) and successfully complete UH-1 repair and overhaul.”

Kearns said Vector has recently introduced a “number of new capabilities that are known to be urgently required by operators of legacy helicopters.”

“Based on the industry-wide trend to repair versus replace existing aircraft, we strongly believe Vector offers many of the OEM-approved repair and overhaul capabilities that will allow our customers to safely and reliably operate these legacy helicopters,” he added.

In addition to Vector’s capability to perform structural, dynamic component and engine repair and overhaul on a wide range of Bell, Sikorsky and Eurocopter products, operators can also elect to enhance their helicopters through upgraded flight equipment such as “glass cockpit” installations, he said.

This is Vector’s second economic development announcement in the last two months. In August, it announced the signing of a five-year, $15 million contract with the Brazilian Air Force to support the government’s fleet of Bell H-1H helicopters.

Under the terms of that contract, Vector will provide in-country support for airframe inspection and repair services and logistics at a military facility located in Brazil.

Vector Aerospace Corporation is an independent provider of aviation repair and overhaul services with facilities in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Africa. It provides services to commercial and military customers for various types of gas turbine engines, components and helicopter airframes, as well as information technology solutions to an international customer base.

The company has approximately 2,500 employees — 93 of whom are employed in Andalusia.