Team Apache Sensors has successfully conducted a test flight of the AH-64E Apache modernised day sensor assembly (M-DSA) during an event at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, US.

M-DSA is an upgraded sensor that enables Apache pilots to see high-resolution, high-definition near infrared and colour imagery on cockpit displays, and also provides a new laser pointer marker, which improves coordination with ground troops and an updated multi-mode laser with eye-safe lasing capability that supports flight in urban environments and critical training exercises.

The test flight highlighted the enhanced capabilities the M-DSA system brings to the helicopter’s precision targeting and pilotage system, the modernised target acquisition designation sight/pilot night vision sensor (M-TADS/PNVS).

Comprising the US Army Apache Attack Helicopter Project Management Office, the US Army Aviation Flight Test Directorate and Lockheed Martin, Team Apache Sensors will now validate the M-DSA’s capabilities at Redstone Arsenal and Yuma Proving Grounds over the next few months.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control M-TADS/PNVS director Matt Hoffman said that the M-DSA completes the modernisation of the M-TADS/PNVS system.

"The new capabilities provided by M-DSA, such as colour in the cockpit and an enhanced laser pointer marker, will support rapid target identification and coordination, as well as improve safety and system reliability for US Army Apache aircrews," Hoffman added.

US Army Apache Sensors product manager lieutenant colonel Steven Van Riper said: "This system will help to further reduce the burden on our aircrews, and they will be able to reap the benefits of the performance improvements."

More than 1,200 M-TADS/PNVS systems have been delivered to date by the company to the US army and international customers.

Defence Technology