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BAE contract brings new production to Fort Wayne operations

February 13th, 2012

News Coverage:

BAE contract brings new production to Fort Wayne operations

Company doesnt expect to add employees

By Bob Caylor of The News-Sentinel

Monday, February 13, 2012 - 6:22 pm

BAE Systems' operations in Fort Wayne will handle the production for a contract BAE landed from Bell Helicopter. The contract is scheduled to run five years, but don't count on increased employment as a result.

"This contract is not expected to impact employment levels for BAE Systems," said Tim Tarchinski, BAE Systems rotary-wing avionics program manager.

BAE will provide fly-by-wire flight control computers for Bell's 525 Relentless super-medium class helicopter. BAE says its flight-control computers enable the aircraft to operate in harsh environments safely and reliably, with decreased pilot workload.

In announcing the contract, BAE said the fly-by-wire system provides pilots with the ability to fly demanding missions in uncontrolled environments, without external navigation or landing aids. The system is a full-authority digital flight controller that provides fly-by-wire flight control, integrated flight and propulsion control, aircraft center-of-gravity computation for stores and fuel contents, structural air loads alleviation, and superior handling performance, the company said.

BAE Systems will provide Bell Helicopter with the flight control computers under a systems development and demonstration contract to deliver flight-qualified units to be used for flight test and certification, with follow-on production work over the next five years, the company said. Development work will be conducted in the Southern Tier of New York, with production at BAE Systems' facility in Fort Wayne.

Tarchinski said BAE employs just under 1,000 in Fort Wayne. Including contract employees, the company workforce here is 1,015, he said.

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