The US Army has awarded a $40.6m contract to Lockheed Martin to produce modernised turrets (M-TUR) for the AH-64E Apache attack helicopter.

The M-TUR will deliver improved reliability, maintainability and performance capabilities for the AH-64E Apache.

The upgraded turret replaces the helicopter’s legacy Target Acquisition Designation Sight (TADS) system turret assembly.

It will provide an upgrade to the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight and Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) system.

According to the company, the modernisation will provide greater operational availability and help address the need for greater rates.

In addition to improving system performance for pilots, the improvements will enable acceleration of sensors in azimuth and elevation.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Apache Fire Control programmes director Tom Eldredge said: “Our primary objective with the modernised turret is to improve system performance, increase reliability, and reduce required maintenance and support costs.

“The M-TUR demonstrates our commitment to delivering advanced, affordable capabilities and innovative solutions to our nation’s warfighters, enabling increased readiness, reliability and survivability in battle.”

The new modular design will deliver a 40% increase in turret reliability, while significantly reducing flight line maintenance time. It also enables subassembly replacement on the flight line.

The M-TADS/PNVS provides enhanced targeting and pilotage for Apache aircrews.

The modernised sensors will deliver increased stand-off ranges and greater situational awareness.

Lockheed Martin stated that M-TADS/PNVS design adds new FLIR sensors to the existing legacy hardware to ensure flight safety during day and night, and in adverse weather conditions.