Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will build 13 M-TADS/PNVS systems incorporating its newly designed advanced Arrowhead forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and its new TADS electronic display and control (TEDAC) unit for the Army. The contract also covers installation and integration support for the systems as well as high rate production tooling and test equipment.
"This contract represents a new milestone for the Arrowhead team because this is the first time we will build and deliver complete systems to the U.S. Army," said Jack McClafferty, Arrowhead program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "Arrowhead technology will provide the U.S. Army with an advanced targeting and navigation capability to help warfighters triumph in the defining moments of battle."
The U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command, based at the Army's Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL, is the contracting agency. Work will take place at the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control facility in Orlando, FL. Deliveries will begin in early 2007 and should be completed by early 2008.
Since November 2003, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has been under contract to build Arrowhead kits for the U.S. Army. The Arrowhead kit contains new line replaceable modules plus modified components. When these modules are integrated with the legacy TADS/PNVS(TM) hardware at the flightline, it will become the M-TADS/PNVS system.
Lockheed Martin assembled the first M-TADS/PNVS unit for the Boeing AH-64 Apache Longbow helicopter and presented it to the U.S. Army in May 2005 during the annual Army Aviation Association of America Convention held in Orlando, FL. U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Edward Sinclair, Commanding General of Ft. Rucker, AL, and the Aviation Branch Chief, was the keynote speaker at the roll-out ceremony. He said during his speech that "M-TADS/PNVS is transforming aviation and meeting warfighter needs."
Army personnel will also be trained to upgrade the TADS/PNVS combat vision system currently on their Apaches in the field within a four-hour timeframe using the Arrowhead kit. In total, the Army plans to upgrade 704 Apache helicopters with the advanced FLIR sensors that are the key to Arrowhead day/night combat vision system effectiveness. In addition, six international customers have the Arrowhead upgrades on contract, with more expected next year.
Lockheed Martin's Arrowhead kit provides the most advanced electro-optical targeting and pilotage system available to Apache crews for maximizing safe flight in day, night and adverse-weather environments. Flight crews currently training with M-TADS/PNVS have validated the system's advanced capabilities with highly favorable after-action reports.
Arrowhead continues a 23-year legacy of serving as the "eyes" of the Army's Apache AH-64 attack helicopter with the first fielding of the current TADS/PNVS in 1983. Arrowhead's newly designed FLIR sensors and avionics use leading-edge image processing techniques to give pilots the best possible resolution to avoid obstacles such as wires and tree limbs during nap of the earth flight.
The Arrowhead kit extends reliability by a factor of two, while significantly reducing maintenance actions. Warfighters will also benefit from quick-access "remove-and-replace" modules that reduce maintenance to two levels and save nearly $1 billion in Army operation and support costs over the 20-year life of the Arrowhead system.
Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services.
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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin
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