New eyes for Apache

The US Army has awarded Lockheed Martin a follow-on production contract worth $311m for Arrowhead, the new electro-optical system for AH-64 Apache combat helicopter pilots.


The US Army has awarded Lockheed Martin a follow-on production contract for Arrowhead, the new electro-optical system for AH-64 Apache combat helicopter pilots.



The contract, valued at $311m, was signed during a ceremony at the US Army Aviation and Missile Command in Huntsville, Alabama on February 28.



The Lot 4 agreement authorises production of 158 Arrowhead kits for some of the remaining US Army and foreign military sales inventory, as well as wartime replacement Modernised Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) systems for new aircraft. The contract also includes spares for both.



The Arrowhead kit modernises the US Army’s TADS/PNVS – known as the “eyes of the Apache” – for the 21st century by upgrading the infrared sensors and associated electronics.



‘The Lot 4 award continues our partnership with US Army Aviation to expand the capabilities of Apache aviators with next-generation FLIR target acquisition/designation and night pilotage,’ said Bob Gunning, Apache Fire Control program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.



‘These capabilities will significantly enhance flight safety and enable our Apache aviators to regain significant standoff with improved targeting capability. The pilots who have flown it are excited to get them, and the army is fielding Arrowhead as fast as we can build them,’ added Gunning.



Lockheed Martin will produce Lot 4 in Orlando and Ocala, Florida. Final deliveries for Lot 4 production will take place in December 2009.



Lockheed Martin signed the original TADS/PNVS production contract on April 30, 1982, and the first TADS/PNVS system was fielded in 1983. The first Arrowhead production contract award was awarded on November 11, 2003. Lockheed Martin rolled out the first Arrowhead system to the US Army in May 2005, and completed integration on the first Apache helicopters in June 2005.