The Army has awarded the Fort Wayne operations of Raytheon Co. a $406 million indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for ARC-231A radio systems.

The contract calls for the production during the next five years of up to 5,000 radios and includes their support and upgrades.

The Army plans to use the radios in its aircraft including the UH-60 Black Hawk, the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter and the UH-72 Lakota utility helicopter.

“These radios are the backbone of rotary-wing communications,” Barbara Borgonovi, vice president of Raytheon Integrated Communication Systems, said in a statement.

“The ARC-231A enables U.S. forces to maintain the edge in secure communications, whether they’re flying in contested or congested environments.”

Because it is software-defined, the ARC-231A does not require removal from an aircraft to accommodate rapid upgrades. Its latest version gained National Security Agency Type 1 certification recently, and provides secure, classified communications on the battlefield.

TrineOnline launched for working students

Trine University is improving and adding to its online program, which it has renamed TrineOnline.

A month after US News and World Report recognized it in an annual list of Best Online Programs, Trine said the new approach it is taking with the launch of TrineOnline is designed to be cost-effective and convenient for students working toward a bachelor’s, associate or master’s degree.

Its new TrineOnline division will have a headquarters in the Summit City eventually, with additional staff to support operations in what is now the university’s Fort Wayne Education Center at 9910 E. Dupont Circle Drive, Suite 130.

“Trine University has a long, successful history in Fort Wayne, offering professional studies degree programs for more than 20 years and, more recently, launching and developing programs at our Health Sciences Education Center,” John Shannon, academic affairs vice president, said in a statement.

“With increased numbers expected in the working adult population, it makes sense to centralize TrineOnline operations in Fort Wayne, which offers a critical mass of these students, a solid technology infrastructure and plenty of room for expansion,” he said.

“We plan to expand our presence in and commitment to Fort Wayne, even as we continue to invest in our main campus in Angola.”

TrineOnline is designed to fit the schedules of students who are holding down full-time day jobs. With new classes starting every eight weeks, degrees can be earned in as little as a year.

The program includes personal attention from faculty and unlimited access to tutors who are available online any time of the day or night.

It also provides access to the university’s Career Services, with continued support after graduation. And Trine boasts an employment rate for its graduates exceeding 99 percent during the past several years.

“TrineOnline offers all the support of an established university with 135 years of history — the fastest-growing private university in Indiana — to help today’s student take the next step in their career path,” Shannon said.

For more information on the program and a list of degrees it offers, go to trine.edu/online.

ITIA advocates for bias crimes law

The Indiana Technology & Innovation Association has joined the Indiana Competes coalition to advocate for passage of a bias crimes law in the state.

Several local and regional Chambers of Commerce are members of the coalition, which considers bias crimes legislation necessary for talent attraction in the state.

Indiana is among only five states without a bias crimes law, and a majority of ITIA members participating in a policy agenda survey expressed a need for one that would address gender identity and sexual orientation issues in the state, it said.

“Indiana’s technology industry is quickly growing but there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill the jobs we’re creating,” John McDonald, ITIA board member and Policy Committee co-chair, said in a statement.

“We need to remove barriers to attracting tech talent to our state and passing a bias crimes law with an enumerated list of characteristics is an important step to send the message that Indiana is a welcoming, forward-looking state,” he said.

“This will help attract technology companies and talent to Indiana and solidify the state’s reputation as a great place to live, work and innovate. ITIA is proud to join Indiana Competes to amplify this message.”

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has advocated for bias crimes legislation that includes language addressing sexual orientation and gender identity issues, the statement said.

Editor’s note: On Feb. 18, Indiana’s Senate Public Policy Committee voted 9-1 to advance Senate Bill 12 to the full Senate. The bill “makes it an aggravating circumstance (for purposes of imposing a criminal sentence) that a crime was committed with the intent to harm or intimidate an individual or a group of individuals because of a perceived or actual characteristic of the individual or group of individuals.”

Engineers Week features contest, banquet

The engineering professionals who volunteer to organize area activities for National Engineers Week were getting ready to celebrate it Feb. 17-23 with events including a banquet and a bridge-building contest.

Members of the Northeast Indiana DiscoverE Committee and the Anthony Wayne Chapter of the Indiana Society of Professional Engineers have scheduled the two biggest events of the week for Feb. 23.

The highlight of the week is the annual banquet, which provides an opportunity for engineers to socialize and celebrate the past year’s engineering accomplishments in the area, and to honor recipients of engineering scholarships and the 2019 Citizen Engineer Award.

Purdue University Fort Wayne‘s annual bridge-building contest, which is open to all area high-school students, will start at 9 a.m. in its Engineering, Technology and Computer Science lobby.

The competition subjects model bridges built with no more than 200 Popsicle sticks and Elmer’s yellow wood glue to a crusher device, which loads them until they fail. First, second and third prizes go to the lightest bridges supporting the heaviest loads with the minimum deflection across a 24-inch gap.

The banquet was scheduled for 6 p.m. at Parkview Field‘s Lincoln Financial Event Center. Jeff Clark, a software manager for the Fort Wayne operations of Raytheon Co., was scheduled to provide its keynote speech on “The Impact of Engineers and the Shortage.”

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