ORLANDO, Fla., 16 Sept. 2005. Lockheed Martin has delivered the first eight Arrowhead systems for the U.S. Army's Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) program.
This delivery marks the successful completion of all milestones required for the Army's M-TADS/PNVS First Unit Equipped (FUE) at Fort Hood, Texas, on June 30, 2005.
The Arrowhead units were integrated on Boeing's AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters. Arrowhead provides an electro-optical targeting and pilotage system for Apache crews to maximize safe flight in day, night and adverse-weather environments.
Arrowhead continues a 23-year legacy of serving as the "eyes" of the Army's AH-64 Apache 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 low-level flight.
Arrowhead extends optical targeting ranges and reliability by a factor of two, while reducing maintenance actions. Warfighters will also benefit from quick-access "remove-and-replace" modules that will 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.
Meeting a commitment made in December 2003, the Arrowhead team outfitted the first eight Apaches with the new day/night vision system at The Boeing Company's Apache production facility in Mesa, Ariz.
The Arrowhead-equipped Apache helicopters departed for Fort Hood in two flights beginning June 23. Following initial differences training at Fort Hood, which covered the operation and maintenance of the 33 new Arrowhead line-replaceable modules, the pilots began flight training. Concurrently, Army personnel are also learning how to maintain the new system. In addition, Army personnel will be trained to upgrade the TADS/PNVS combat vision system currently on their Apaches within a four-hour timeframe using the Arrowhead kits in the field.
The first Arrowhead M-TADS/PNVS unit for the Modernized AH-64D Apache helicopter was rolled out and presented to the U.S. Army in May 2005 during the annual Army Aviation Association of America Convention held in Orlando, Fla.
"M-TADS/PNVS is transforming aviation and meeting warfighter needs," said Army Brig. Gen. Edward Sinclair, commanding general of Fort Rucker, Ala., and the aviation branch chief, during his keynote speech at the roll-out ceremony.
In addition to the Army order, Lockheed Martin will deliver upgrades to the United Kingdom and six undisclosed international customers, with three others expected.
"Meeting the M-TADS/PNVS FUE milestone has been an outstanding team effort by Lockheed Martin, Boeing, the U.S. government and all of our suppliers," said Jack McClafferty, Arrowhead program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "The team took on the challenge, and never faltered in its drive to meet the goal of supplying our customer the systems they require."
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 130,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2004 sales of $35.5 billion. For more information, see www.lockheedmartin.com.