The US Army has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin for provision of performance-based logistics (PBL) support for the Apache helicopter modernised target acquisition designation sight/pilot night-vision sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) system.
Valued at $111m, the firm-fixed price PBL award has a one-year performance period, and three one-year options that extend through December 2015 that, if exercised, will increase the total contract value to $375m.
Lockheed Martin Apache Attack Helicopter Avionics and Radar division chief Kathy Drysdale said the M-TADS/PNVS PBL contract had succeeded in boosting operational capabilities to troops.
"The M-TADS/PNVS PBL programme has been credited with improving fleet readiness, reducing average flying hour cost and reducing the army's long-term inventory investment," Drysdale added.
David Belvin, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control business Apache fire control programme director, said the project would contribute to overall effectiveness of the Apache helicopter by leveraging a strong partnership between the soldier, army and his company.
"The PBL contract delivers a support solution that reduces costs when compared to earlier approaches, while also providing strong levels of performance and value to our customer," he said.
Initiated in 2007, the PBL contract covers delivery of complete post-production supply chain management, which include spares planning, procurement, repairs, maintenance, modifications, as well as inventory management of the currently fielded M-TADS/PNVS systems
In addition to enabling mission readiness, the contract lowers operations and support (O&S) costs and drives reliability, as well as maintainability enhancements.
The M-TADS/PNVS, also called Arrowhead, is an advanced electro-optical fire control system designed to provide Apache pilots with advanced targeting capability for conducting day, night and adverse-weather missions.
Operational with the army since 2005, the module replaces the legacy TADS/PNVS direct-view optics with a new TADS electronic display and control (TEDAC) unit to enable image fusion and also help improve target resolution and situational awareness.
Image: A US Army's AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter at a forward operating base in Iraq. Photo: courtesy of US Army, by tech Sgt Andy Dunaway.