Lockheed Martin has won a foreign military sale contract to supply modernised target acquisition designation sight/pilot night vision sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) systems to the Qatar Emiri Air Force.
The $90.6m contract was awarded by the US Army as an option under its Lot 9 contract, secured by the company in May this year, and makes Qatar the 14th international customer for the M-TADS/PNVS system.
Under the contract, the company will manufacture and deliver of M-TADS/PNVS targeting and pilotage systems and spares for the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s new fleet of AH-64E Apache attack helicopters.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Apache international programmes director Mike Taylor said: "The Qatar Emiri Air Force will be one of the first international customers to receive M-TADS/PNVS systems equipped with the new modernised laser range finder designator."
"The new laser range finder designator is more than two times more reliable, improves targeting performance and can be repaired or replaced on the flight line, which significantly reduces operation and support costs."
Also known as Arrowhead, the M-TADS/PNVS is an advanced electro-optical fire control system, designed to provide Apache attack helicopter pilots with long-range, electro-optical precision engagement and targeting capabilities on day, night and adverse-weather missions.
The system replaces the legacy TADS/PNVS direct-view optics with a new TADS electronic display and control (TEDAC) unit, which enables image fusion and also augments the pilot’s target resolution and situational awareness on the battlefield.
Lockheed did not disclose the number of units ordered and their schedule, but noted that the contract extends production at its facilities in Orlando and Ocala, Florida, through 2017.
Qatar ordered 24 AH-64E Apache choppers from Boeing under a QAR8.9bn ($2.4bn) deal in March, reported Reuters.
Nicknamed ‘Guardian’, the AH-64E is a heavily armed helicopter featuring powerful, fuel-efficient T700-GE-701D engines, enhanced rotor blade technology and electronics, and improved aircraft handling, performance and agility at higher altitudes.