U.S. Army gets new night-vision aid

July 7, 2011 at 9:41 AM
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ORLANDO, Fla., July 7 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin's first VNsight production unit for the U.S. Army's Apache attack helicopter has been delivered to the service, the company announced.

The VNsight adds a low-light-level display capability to the AH-64D Apache's combat-proven Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor, or Arrowhead, system.

"VNsight gives the Apache fleet a new and improved warfighting capability," said Lt. Col. John Vannoy, U.S. Army product manager for Apache Sensors. "While the primary purpose of the VNsight camera is for image-blending with the M-PNVS forward-looking infrared, the VNsight camera technology permits pilots to see cultural lighting, tracers and some ground lasers.

"Not only is this an enhancement in our warfighting capabilities but it also significantly improves pilot safety."

Lockheed said that by blending VNsight imagery with the M-PNVS FLIR imagery, pilots can accurately see and identify cultural and military lighting, including lasers, markers, beacons and tracer rounds, ensuring safer flying conditions and enhanced mission capability.

The VNsight Lot 1 production contract includes sensors and spares to equip two U.S. Apache battalions and an international customer.

Delivering the first unit on schedule establishes the start of a production line capable of producing eight VNsight units per month. With production options for up to 10 U.S. Army battalions spanning into 2015, the VNsight production line will continue to provide a valuable asset to AH-64D pilots.

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