Lockheed Martin to upgrade military helicopter sensor system

  • 10-Jan-2011 03:12 EST

Arrowhead's lightweight modules can be rapidly removed and replaced while the Apache helicopter is in the field. Thus, Arrowhead reduces field maintenance to only two levels and saves the U.S. Army over $1 billion in operation and support costs over the life of the system.

The U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin a $15 million contract for production of a low-light-level TV capability, called VNsight, for the Apache's combat-proven Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS), also known as Arrowhead. The new VNsight visible/near IR sensor is integrated into the Modernized PNVS, providing the warfighter with tactical advantages, particularly in low-light-level conditions. The VNsight Lot 1 production contract for 65 sensors and spares will equip two Apache battalions. It will also provide an initial quantity of cameras and spares to outfit a Foreign Military Sales customer. The M-TADS/PNVS systems will be upgraded as a field retrofit. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control will produce the VNsight lens and serve as the system integrator, while Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors in Akron, OH, will provide the sensor's camera.

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Equipment developers are moving quickly to ensure that military users will have long-term access to boards and modules that provide higher performance, easy replacement, and reduced costs. Board and system designers adopting new technologies are standardizing interconnection layouts to ensure that boards designed by various suppliers can be used to upgrade systems as technology advances.

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