Apache helicopter

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract to maintain and support the modernised target acquisition designation sight / pilot night vision sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) system installed on the UK Army’s Apache AH Mk-1 helicopter.

Awarded by AgustaWestland, the $60m contract covers in-country repairs, spares and technical services, as well as integrated logistics, engineering and depot repair support.

The contract forms part of the overall integrated operational support (IOS) solution that AgustaWestland is providing for the UK Apache fleet under a £430m contract awarded by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) last month.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Apache international programmes director Mike Taylor said the company developed M-TADS/PNVS system in collaboration with AgustaWestland to support strategy designed to optimise system readiness and mission effectiveness.

”This contract is a cost-effective support solution to ensure supply availability of M-TADS/PNVS on AH Mk-1 Apaches, providing UK soldiers with mission critical situational awareness and targeting accuracy,” Taylor said.

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

"[It will provide] UK soldiers with mission critical situational awareness and targeting accuracy."

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 US Army since 2005, the system has also proved its capabilities during operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Work under the contract will be carried out at the company’s facilities in Florida, US, LMUK-Ampthill and at the UK Wattisham Special Repair Activity Depot, and is scheduled to continue through March 2019.

A licence-built variant of the AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter, the UK Apache AH Mk.1 fleet provides protection for British and allied troops in Afghanistan.

Image: the Apache AH Mk.1 attack helicopters of the UK Army. Photo: copyright of AgustaWestland.

Defence Technology