Lockheed Martin Demonstrates Cutting-Edge Sensor for U.S. Army Apache Helicopters
Lockheed Martin recently conducted a series of test flights demonstrating a new cutting-edge, low-light-level sensor system for U.S. Army Arrowhead-equipped AH-64D Apache helicopters. Integrated into the Modernized-Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-PNVS) system, the Visible/Near Infrared (V/NIR) sensor will provide the Warfighter with significant tactical advantages.
Pilots will now be able to see cultural and military lighting, providing safer flying conditions and enhanced mission capability by blending V/NIR sensor imagery with M-PNVS forward looking infrared (FLIR) imagery to improve situational awareness in low light-level conditions. The sensor will also allow aviators to see laser pointers, improving coordination with ground units. Follow-on qualification and flight tests are scheduled for later this year to complete the development program.
"The Modernized PNVS sensor has given the Apache pilots remarkable situational awareness at night time and in adverse environmental conditions," said Jack McClafferty, director of M-TADS/PNVS program at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "Now, with the blending of the V/NIR sensor imagery and the FLIR imagery, the pilots will have an unprecedented view of their surroundings."
The $9.4 million contract for the V/NIR proof-of-principle phase for the M-TADS/PNVS was awarded in 2007 to Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control by the Apache Program Executive Office in Huntsville, AL. Lockheed Martin will produce the V/NIR lens and serve as the system integrator, while Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors in Akron, OH, will provide the system's camera.
The contract includes a new lens design and repackaging of six engineering units that will be used to meet Apache flight environment requirements. Successful completion of this effort will pave the way for follow-on production contracts. The production contracts for this sensor are expected to equip 10 battalions, or 240 ship sets plus spares (totaling 266), with the first deliveries beginning in 2009.
Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2007 sales of $41.9 billion.
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