Apache helicopter

Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman joint-venture Longbow International has been awarded a contract to support Longbow fire control radars (FCR) mounted onboard the UK Army’s Apache AH Mk.1 attack helicopter fleet.

Awarded by AgustaWestland, the $96m contract includes provision of engineering services, integrated logistics support and an in-country repair capability.

The contract forms part of the overall integrated operational support (IOS) solution AgustaWestland is providing to the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Apache helicopter fleet, under a £430m contract secured in February 2014.

Longbow International vice-president and Northrop Grumman tactical sensor solutions-aviation business unit director Mike Galletti said: "This contract provides high-quality logistics engineering and affordable repairs support for the MoD, ensuring supply availability.

"We are pleased to maintain our strong relationship with AgustaWestland and provide a steady base of support to the UK Apache Longbow helicopters."

Longbow International president and Lockheed Martin missiles and fire control Longbow programmes director Tom Eldredge said: "Our strong partnership with AgustaWestland enables us to provide high operational availability and system reliability at low overall costs in support of the MoD."

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"Provision of support services under the contract is scheduled to continue through March 2019."

Under full-rate production since 1996, the Longbow FCR is designed to provide Apache aircrews with detection, location, classification and prioritisation of multiple moving and stationary targets on land, water and in the air, in all weather conditions from stand-off ranges.

Work under the contract will be carried out at the UK Wattisham Airfield Special Repair Activity Depot, Northrop’s facility in Baltimore, US, Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Ocala and Orlando, Florida, and Lockheed Martin UK Ampthill in the UK.

Provision of support services under the contract is scheduled to continue through March 2019.

Image: A UK Army Air Corps Apache AH Mk.1 attack helicopter takes off from the deck of HMS Ocean. Photo: courtesy of LA(Phot)Bernie Henesy.

Defence Technology