Lockheed Martin received a $14 million contract in 2013 from the U.S. Army to design, integrate and qualify a High Reliability Turret for the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) on the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.
The High Reliability Turret is the interface between the M-TADS/PNVS and the Apache airframe. It improves target track performance and minimizes the effects of aircraft vibration on the system.
The turret also improves M-TADS/PNVS reliability and maintainability, as well as reducing the operations and support costs of the existing turret assembly. It will potentially save the U.S. Army more than $500 million in operation and support costs over the life of the system.
"This investment, enabled by the Army Working Capital Fund and the Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Command, allows us to eliminate several looming obsolescence risks while providing improved capability to our soldiers," said Lt. Col. Steven Van Riper, U.S. Army Product Manager for Apache Sensors. "The non-recurring engineering activities included in this contract set the conditions for follow-on production and fielding of the new turret."
The potential contract value, including this base contract and options available through 2015, is approximately $38 million. Work will be performed at Lockheed Martin's facilities in Orlando and Ocala, Fla., and will extend through 2017.
"The new turret design will improve system maintainability while providing a more stable and capable foundation for future system enhancements," said Matt Hoffman, M-TADS/PNVS program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "This modification is an affordable solution that will ensure M-TADS/PNVS remains the world's most advanced electro-optical precision engagement system for the Apache attack helicopter."
Fielded in 2005, M-TADS/PNVS provides Apache pilots with long-range, precision engagement and pilotage capabilities for mission success and flight safety in day, night and adverse weather missions. Forward-looking infrared sensors provide enhanced image resolution that enables Apache aircrews to engage targets and provide situational awareness in support of ground troops outside detection ranges. Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 1,200 M-TADS/PNVS systems to the U.S. Army and international customers.