$262.4M in Arrowheads for Apaches
Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control in Orlando, FL received a $262.4 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract for Arrowhead units with accompanying initial spares. Arrowhead is an advanced electro-optical & fire control system that AH-64 Apache helicopter pilots use for combat targeting of their Hellfire missiles and other weapons, as well as safe flight in day, night, or bad weather missions. It is the successor to TADS/PNVS. Arrowhead’s forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensors use advanced image processing techniques to give pilots the best possible resolution to avoid obstacles such as wires and tree limbs during low-level flight.
While the number of units was not disclosed, a $247 million contract issued on February 17, 2005 provided for 97 Arrowhead units. The Army’s first unit equipped with Arrowhead will be fielded in June 2005, and the U.S. Army intends to buy 704 Arrowhead systems to outfit its AH-64 Apache fleet by 2011.
Arrowhead is the U.S. Army’s Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) system. Arrowhead’s leading edge technology and design is claimed to improve system performance by over 150%, increase reliability more than 150%, and decrease maintenance actions by approximately 60%. It is also believed that streamlining field maintenance from three to two levels will save nearly $1 billion in operation and support costs over the 20-year life of the system. Arrowhead’s modular architecture accommodates a field-retrofit from TADS/PNVS to the new Arrowhead configuration on both Apache A and D-models.
Work on Arrowhead production will be performed in Orlando, FL, and is expected to be complete by Oct. 31, 2007. This was a sole source contract initiated on June 8, 2004. The Army Aviation and Missile Command in Redstone Arsenal, AL issued the contract (W58RGZ-04-C-0302). News Release, Feb. 17, 2005: Lockheed Awarded $247 Million Arrowhead Contract