South Korean Army to equip Apache helicopters with Lockheed M-TADS/PNVS system
Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract for supply of its modernised target acquisition designation sight/pilot night vision sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) systems for installation on the Republic of Korea Army's AH-64E Apache attack helicopter.
Making South Korea the 12th international customer of the M-TADS/PNVS-equipped Apache, the $223m contract covers delivery of a total of 36 systems along with spare parts.
Lockheed Martin missiles and fire control apache international and support programmes director, Mike Taylor, said the M-TADS/PNVS system will provide the South Korean army with unmatched performance and capabilities.
''Lockheed Martin looks forward to this partnership with the Republic of Korea Army to produce and field our modernised targeting and pilotage system for South Korea's formidable new AH-64E Apache attack helicopter fleet,'' Taylor said.
Known as Arrowhead, M-TADS/PNVS is an advanced electro-optical fire control system, designed to provide pilots with long-range, electro-optical precision engagement and flying targeting capabilities for conducting day, night and adverse-weather missions.
The system replaces the legacy TADS/PNVS direct-view optics with a new TADS electronic display and control (TEDAC) unit to enable image fusion and also enhance the pilot's target resolution and situational awareness in the battlefield.
Operational with the army since 2005, the system also proved its capabilities during operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
South Korean army is acquiring 36 Apache helicopters along with training and logistical support to enhance aerial firepower, as part of an estimated KRW1.8tr ($1.6bn) foreign military sales (FMS) contract awarded to Boeing in April of this year.
US Army Apache international sales programme, Apache attack helicopters project office product manager said: ''We are very proud and happy to further our relationship with the Republic of Korea by adding them to our growing list of US allies flying and operating this exceptionally capable aircraft.''
M-TADS/PNVS production work will run through 2018, with electronics assembly and final assembly set to be carried out at the company's facilities in Ocala and Orlando in Florida, US.
Image: an AH-64E Apache attack helicopter during its flight. Photo: file image