Multiple countries set to receive new eyes in the sky for Apache attack helicopters

By James LaPorta   |   Oct. 9, 2017 at 1:41 PM
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Oct. 9 (UPI) -- The AH-64E Apache helicopter is slated to receive new eyes as Lockheed Martin receives a $337 million contract to supply multiple countries with the latest in target acquisition.

The Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor or M-TADS/PNVS system has been ordered by the United States, United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the company announced on Monday.

The contract is an initial task between the defense contractor and the U.S. Army that would see an "indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity" of services at the tune of at least $2 billion in potential orders over a five-year period of performance of the enhanced system to U.S. and international customers.

"Lockheed Martin is committed to a strong and sustained partnership with our customers in the United States and around the world," Paul Lemmo, vice president of Fire Control/Special Operations Forces Contractor Logistics Support Services at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control said in the release.

"This contract enables us to respond rapidly to their emerging defense needs, including requirements for new M-TADS/PNVS systems and upgrades," said Lemmo.

The M-TADS/PNVS, known as the "eyes of the Apache," provides pilots with long-range, precision engagement and pilotage capabilities for safe flight during day, night and adverse weather missions.

M-DSA increases M-TADS/PNVS designation and ranging capabilities to fully accommodate current weapons and those planned for the future Apache model configurations. Under the new upgraded sensors, Apache pilots are able to view "high-resolution, high-definition, near-infrared and color imagery on cockpit displays."

Moreover, a new laser pointer has been equipped to improve initial terminal guidance and coordination with ground forces such as Joint Terminal Attack Controllers targeting enemy strongholds. An updated multi-mode laser setting provides eye-safe range designation that directly supports flight operations in urban environments and critical training exercises.

Lockheed Martin is providing upgrade kits for the M-TADS/PNVS Modernized Day Sensor Assembly or M-DSA and Modernized Laser Range Finder Designator for the U.S. Army.

Additionally, Lockheed Martin said that the British Ministry of Defense is receiving upgraded M-DSA kits for their refurbished M-TADS/PNVS as a part of a remanufacture effort to migrate their Apache D-models to E models. Saudi is also Arabia is said to be receiving the new system for their new E-model Apaches already on hand.

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