Lockheed Martin awarded contract for Apache Attack Helicopter Modernized Target Acquisition Designation/Pilot Night Vision Sensor System


Lockheed Martin Corp. Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, Florida, was awarded a $102,389,630 firm-fixed-price contract for production and delivery of hardware components and spares of the Apache Attack Helicopter Modernized Target Acquisition Designation/Pilot Night Vision Sensor System.

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Lockheed Martin awarded Apache Attack Helicopter Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Pilot Night Vision Sensor System contract 01 AH-64 Apache helicopter equipped with M-TADS/PNVS (Picture source: Lockheed Martin)


Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of July 31, 2024. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

The Apache Arrowhead (also Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor or M-TADS/PNVS), is an integrated targeting and night vision system developed by Lockheed Martin for the Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. It uses second-generation long-wave Forward looking infrared (FLIR) sensors with three fields of view, a charge-coupled device TV camera, dual field of view pilotage FLIR, electronic zoom, target tracker and auto-boresight.


Lockheed Martin awarded Apache Attack Helicopter Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Pilot Night Vision Sensor System contract 02 M-TADS/PNVS (Picture source: Lockheed Martin)


The VNsight visible/near infrared sensor is a low-light-level TV (LLLTV) integrated into the Apache's Modernized Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-PNVS) and Pathfinder dedicated pilotage sensor (the M-PNVS adapted for cargo and utility aircraft). The additional imaging capability in this wavelength complements the long wave infrared wavelength of the existing sensor and adds significant tactical advantages.

Using VNsight imagery blended with the standard M-PNVS forward looking infrared (FLIR) imagery, pilots can see lighting that was previously unviewable in low-light conditions. This includes lasers, markers, beacons, and tracer rounds, which were not accurately registered with the thermal image over the full sensor field of view. The VNsight upgrade ensures safer flying conditions and enhanced mission capability (especially in urban environments) by improving situation awareness in low-light-level conditions and situations where existing light sources cannot be imaged by the FLIR. It also allows the aircrew to see their own laser spot while designating targets for laser guided munition engagements, providing an extra level of certainty that the correct target and aim-point are designated. Enhanced air-to-ground communication reduces the potential for blue on blue incidents


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