Apache helicopter

Lockheed Martin has been awarded two contracts to continue overhaul of modernised target acquisition designation sight/pilot night-vision sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) of the US Army’s AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

Valued at a combined $161.7m, the orders represent Lot 2 and Lot 3 contracts for production and delivery of 482 modernised day sensor assembly (M-DSA) modernised laser rangefinder designator (M-LRFD) kits and spares to the army.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control M-TADS/PNVS programmes director Matt Hoffman said the contracts reaffirm the army’s commitment towards ensuring the soldiers are equipped with superior capabilities when conducting missions in the theatre.

"M-DSA M-LRFD kits reduce ongoing obsolescence while significantly increasing system performance," Hoffman added.

US Army Apache Sensors product manager lieutenant colonel Steve Van Riper said: "These two production lots represent our continued confidence in Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control to provide a high-performing, high-quality, reliable LRFD for the AH-64D/E."

"M-DSA M-LRFD kits reduce ongoing obsolescence while significantly increasing system performance."

A total of 92 M-DSA M-LRFD kits and spare parts were ordered by the army from the company under its Lot 1 contract in February 2012 for deliveries by early 2013.

Capable of designating an aim point by means of a laser for the Hellfire II missiles, the M-DSA M-LRFD kits have been designed to improve targeting by providing Apache pilots with accurate range data for aiming.

Work under the contract will be carried out at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control’s facilities in Ocala and Orlando, Florida, US, until the third quarter of 2016, however the delivery schedule has not been disclosed by the company.

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

Operational with the army since 2005, the system also proved its capabilities during operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Image: A US Army’s AH-64D Apache attack helicopter during its flight. Photo: file image.

Defence Technology