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Lockheed Martin to build turret for M-TADS/PNVS

11th March 2014 - 14:44 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Lockheed Martin will design, integrate and qualify a High Reliability Turret for the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) onboard the US Army’s AH-64 Apache attack helicopter fleet. The company announced a $14 million contract for the work on 10 March.

As the interface between the M-TADS/PNVS and the Apache airframe, the High Reliability Turret improves target track performance, reduces the effects of aircraft vibration on the system, and improves M-TADS/PNVS reliability and maintainability.

Additionally, Lockheed Martin expects the projected reduction in operational and support costs delivered by the turret to potentially save the US Army over $500 million over the life of the system.

Lt. Col. Steven Van Riper, US Army Product Manager for Apache Sensors, said: ‘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. The non-recurring engineering activities included in this contract set the conditions for follow-on production and fielding of the new turret.’

Matt Hoffman, M-TADS/PNVS program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, added: ‘The new turret design will improve system maintainability while providing a more stable and capable foundation for future system enhancements. 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.’

M-TADS/PNVS provides Apache pilots with long-range, precision engagement and pilotage capabilities 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.

The contract will run through 2017. With base and options the potential contract value could rise up to $38 million.

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