Lockheed Martin has secured a US Army contract to upgrade the target acquisition designation sight / pilot night-vision sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) of the army’s AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

Under the $54.3m contract, the company will produce 35 M-DSA kits and spares for the US Army and the Qatar Emiri Air Force.

The contract represents a Modernized Day Sensor Assembly (M-DSA) Phase II Lot 1 contract, the total value of which is not to exceed $130.6m.

The M-DSA Phase II upgrades will create an additional field of view and extended range picture-in-picture capabilities, which will allow pilots to identify targets in the distance.

The upgrade will also provide high-resolution, near infrared and colour imagery on cockpit displays, as well as a new laser pointer marker, and a multi-mode, eye-safe laser.

"These enhancements enable faster situational understanding for aircrews and more accurate coordination with ground troops."

M-TADS/PNVS director Matt Hoffman said: "These enhancements enable faster situational understanding for aircrews and more accurate coordination with ground troops.

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"With the Apache expected to be in service through 2045, we’re continuing to invest in sensor upgrades, such as the M-DSA, to ensure aircrews have the capabilities they need to address emerging threats."

Work under the contract is expected to be carried out at the company’s facilities in Orlando and Ocala, Florida, US, until the third quarter of 2019.

Known as Arrowhead, the M-TADS/PNVS is an advanced, electro-optical fire control system. It is designed to provide pilots with long-range, electro-optical precision engagement, and flying targeting capabilities for conducting day, night and adverse-weather missions.

Used by the US army since 2005, the system proved its capabilities during operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Image: TADS / PNVS on a Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter. Photo: courtesy of Guinnog / Wikipedia.