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The U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin a $54.3 million contract in December 2015 to upgrade the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor(M-TADS/PNVS) on the AH-64E Apache helicopter, bringing color to the cockpit for the first time.
Under this contract, Lockheed Martin will produce 35 M-DSA kits and spares for the U.S. Army and the Qatar Emiri Air Force. Production will take place at Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Orlando and Ocala, Florida, through March 2019. A total of $54.3 million was obligated to Lockheed Martin through the Modernized Day Sensor Assembly (M-DSA) Phase 2 Lot 1 contract award with a total value not to exceed $130.6 million.
With M-DSA Phase 2 upgrades, pilots can identify targets at further distances through an additional field of view and extended range picture-in-picture capability. They also now have the ability to view high-resolution, near infrared and color imagery on cockpit displays. Phase 2 upgrades also include a new laser pointer marker and a multi-mode laser with eye-safe lasing capability.
“These enhancements enable faster situational understanding for aircrews and more accurate coordination with ground troops,” said Matt Hoffman, M-TADS/PNVS director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “With the Apache expected to be in service through 2045, we’re continuing to invest in sensor upgrades, such as the M-DSA, to ensure aircrews have the capabilities they need to address emerging threats.”
Lockheed Martin is currently producing 860 Modernized Laser Rangefinder Designator (M-LRFD) kits under an M-DSA Phase 1 Lot 4 contract awarded earlier this year. M-LRFD is the primary targeting aid for the Apache, enabling pilots to designate targets and establish target range for accurate weapon engagement.