Lockheed to upgrade M-TADS/PNVS system for Japan's Apache helicopter fleet


Lockheed Martin has been contracted to upgrade modernised target acquisition designation sight / pilot night vision sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) systems for the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force's (JGSDF) AH-64DJP Apache attack helicopter fleet.

Under the contract, the company will provide 14 laser designation kits until 2020 which are required to upgrade the M-TADS systems.

Described as the 'eyes of the Apache', M-TADS/PNVS provides pilots with long-range, precision engagement and pilotage capabilities for safe flight during day, night and adverse-weather missions.

The modernised day sensor assembly (M-DSA) upgrade is expected to improve laser reliability and the Apache's ability to designate targets and establish accurate target range.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Fire Control/SOF CLSS vice-president Paul Lemmo said:

"Lockheed Martin's M-DSA laser designator significantly enhances the capabilities of Japan's Apache fleet.

"Modernising the M-TADS system delivers improved weapon effectiveness to JGSDF aircrews and streamlined sustainment support to maintainers."

Additionally, Lockheed Martin will upgrade JGSDF test equipment and provide in-country training.

"Modernising the M-TADS system delivers improved weapon effectiveness to JGSDF aircrews and streamlined sustainment support to maintainers."

Japan is said to be the first international Apache customer to receive a M-DSA field upgrade to its M-TADS/PNVS system.

Lockheed's Apache sustainment team will provide performance-based logistics (PBL) support under a separate three-year contract.

According to the company, PBL will enhance supply chain management, depot-level support and supply and retrograde infrastructure, including spares planning, procurement, repairs, maintenance, modifications and inventory management of fielded systems.

To date, the company has delivered more than 1,350 M-TADS/PNVS systems and spares to the US Army and international customers, including more than a dozen to Japan.


Image: A JGSDF Apache takes off from the JS Hyuga during a joint US-Japan exercise. Photo: courtesy of US Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Nardel Gervacio.