For much of the post-WWII era, US helicopter pilots have been trained to fly “low and fast.” This was based on combat experience in Korea and Vietnam. In the urban environments of Iraq and Afghanistan, however, flying low and fast has made helicopters more vulnerable to a number of threats: terrain, wires/powerlines, rocket propelled grenades, small arms fire, and shoulder-fired missiles.
Enter the Arrowhead system. Arrowhead is an electro-optical and fire control system that AH-64 Apache helicopter pilots use for combat targeting of their Hellfire missiles and other weapons, as well as flying in day, night, or bad weather missions. The system also provides accurate targeting at high altitudes, a practice that also has its drawbacks. This free-to-view Spotlight article covers the Arrowhead’s characteristics, components, contacts, consequences, and contracts.
Challenges of Urban Warfare
“Low and fast” has been the mantra of US helicopter pilots for much of the post-war era. Flying low and fast enabled pilots to avoid radar-guided missiles and anti-aircraft artillery. Low-level flying also improved the survivability of the crew when something went wrong. If the helicopter had a mechanical problem or was hit by enemy fire, the pilot could ditch the helicopter more easily at a low altitude.
However, flying low and fast has made helicopters more vulnerable to a number of urban combat threats: terrain, wires/powerlines, rocket-propelled grenades, small arms fire, and MANPADS.
Losses suffered early on in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) convinced the US Army that flying low and fast was contributing to high helicopter losses. For example, in the first 3 months of OIF, 12 US Army helicopters were shot down, all at 400 feet or below.
Instead, maintaining a high altitude allows pilots to avoid many of the urban combat threats. Staying above 500 feet enables pilots to avoid wires and power lines; above 1,500 feet, RPGs; and above 3,000 feet, small arms and light machine gun fire.
Fighting in an urban environment increases the need to carry out nighttime operations because insurgents often use nighttime maneuver for cover. Also, urban combat can involve operating in smokey environments caused by the enemy purposively setting fires to provide a smoke-filled veil or as a result of fires started in buildings from weapons.
As a result, the US military realized that helicopter pilots need the ability to see and target at a distance, through smoke and obscurants, and at night.
The Arrowhead Advantage
To provide these capabilities, the Army turned to Lockheed Martin to develop the Arrowhead sensor system. Arrowhead – also known as the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/ Pilot Night Vision System (M-TADS/PNVS) – is an electro-optical and fire control system that the Boeing-built AH-64 Apache helicopter pilots use for combat targeting of their Hellfire missiles and other weapons, as well as flying in day, night, or bad weather missions. The system enables pilots to target accurately at high altitudes. Check out this Discovery Channel video of the Apache with the Arrowhead system in action.
The Arrowhead system is provided as original equipment on new Apache helicopters, or as retrofit kits that upgrade the older version TADS/PNVS systems. Lockheed Martin rolled out the first Arrowhead system to the US Army in May 2005 and completed integration on the first Apache helicopters in June 2005. Over 1,000 Arrowhead systems will have been delivered with the completion of the Lot 7 contract, which extends production through April 2013. For details on the Lot 1-7 contracts, check out the Contracts and Key Events section below.
The Arrowhead system has 2 turrets [PDF]. The lower turret contains the targeting system, with day and night sensor assemblies. The day sensor assembly [PDF], which is undergoing modernization, incorporates a laser rangefinder designator, TV sensor, and laser spot tracker components.
The night sensor assembly includes the forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor that can see through haze and smoke and at night. The FLIR sensor has three fields-of-view, a multi-target tracker, multiple-code laser spot tracking, and internal boresight. Arrowhead’s electro-optics replace the older version TADS/PNVS direct-view optics with a TADS electronic display and control (TEDAC) unit.
The upper turret houses the pilot night vision system, which provides a long-wave, high-definition FLIR sensor with 52-degree wide field of view optics. The system’s processing algorithms give pilots sufficient resolution to avoid obstacles (including wires and trees) during low-level flight and at night.
Digital data from the FLIR sensor is displayed in the cockpit and on the pilot’s helmet-mounted display, providing high-resolution images. Arrowhead also has an image-intensified TV camera to aid aircraft pilotage in thermal environments and urban scenarios. The TV camera enables the pilots to see ground tracers, laser points and other signals from the ground. The system’s software combines imagery from the TV and the FLIR sensor into one multi-spectral image for the pilot and crew.
Particularly relevant for high-altitude flight is the Arrowhead system’s range for identifying targets. The system provides aircrews with a clear FLIR image at ranges greater than 5 miles. This range enables helicopter pilots to maintain an altitude above 2,500 feet and still provide firepower support to US soldiers on the ground.
Arrowhead also helps Apache pilots cope with brownout, which is reduced visibility caused by blinding sand and dust clouds churned up by the helicopter’s rotors. The US Army has lost 27 helicopters in brownout accidents since 2002, including the October 2009 crash of a special operations H-47 Chinook helicopter, which hit a hidden obstacle and crashed with 10 lives lost.
Commenting on the ability of Arrowhead to aid Apache pilots in brownout situations, Col. Mark Hayes, capabilities manager for the US Army Training and Doctrine Command, told the Army Times in April 2008:
“With MTADS [Arrowhead] we have far fewer challenges with obscurants than we had because the acuity of the system is so good. For example, it will see through rain. It will see through light fog. It will see through a certain amount of smoke.”
VNsight and Pathfinder
click to play video
To provide enhanced night vision capabilities, Lockheed Martin offers the VNsight add-on for both the Arrowhead system and the Pathfinder system, which is a version of the Arrowhead system adapted for cargo and utility helicopters. VNsight provides enhanced visible light/ near infrared sensor capabilities that complement the long-wave infrared wavelength of the FLIR sensor.
Using the composite of VNsight and FLIR imagery, pilots can see cultural and military lighting (lasers, markers, beacons, tracer rounds, etc.) registered with the thermal image over the 30 by 52 degree field of view of the sensor. This improves situational awareness in low-light conditions and situations where existing light sources cannot be imaged by the FLIR. The capability to image all light sources with the VNsight sensor allows pilots to see laser pointers used to target laser-guided munitions.
As noted, the Pathfinder [pdf] system is a version of Arrowhead adapted for cargo and utility helicopters. The high-resolution FLIR imagery is projected onto the visor of the pilot’s helmet while the turreted sensor assembly is slewed to the helmet and is coordinated with the pilot’s head movements.
The Pathfinder system displays flight information on the helmet visor so that the pilot can maintain a head-up, eyes-out posture when operating in low visibility conditions. This approach maximizes the pilot’s unobstructed visibility (invisible cockpit), facilitates detection and avoidance of obstacles at lower altitudes and higher airspeeds; and provides the ability to identify and react to threats.
The Pathfinder turret mounts on the helicopter’s chin using a kit consisting of 3 line-replaceable modules. Eleven of the 14 line-replaceable modules are common with the Arrowhead. This creates synergy with the established Arrowhead production line and performance based logistics.
Lockheed Martin notes that Pathfinder is currently the only IR sensor system designed and developed specifically to support terrain flight (low level, contour, and nap-of-the-earth) and terminal operations in unimproved landing areas during reduced visibility conditions.
The Arrowhead sensor enables Apache helicopters to maintain high altitudes, which allow crews to remain out of range of a number of urban combat threats.
However, high-altitude flight doesn’t come without problems. In a USMC Command and Staff College paper, Capt. A. C. Schilleci said that high-altitude flight prevents pilots from feeling and absorbing the intangibles of urban ground combat.
Also, he noted that if helicopter pilot training and experience focuses on high-altitude attack enabled by Arrowhead in an urban environment, the pilots might lose the ability to be effective in large-scale anti-armor missions, which could become the Achilles heel for attack aviation:
“The attack helicopter community must combine the fundamental tank killing successes achieved in Operation Desert Storm with the insurgent exploitability learned and gained in OIF/OEF with the M-TADS. Once this evolution is completely implemented and properly standardized throughout Army attack aviation, the ability to surgically strike our future armored enemies becomes limitless.”
Col. Jim Slife, a USAF special ops pilot, in a 2007 Armed Forces Journal article identifies a number of other high-altitude flight issues:
* Some helicopter missions, such as close air support (CAS), require low-altitude flight. With training, pilots could fly CAS missions from altitudes above 3,000 feet. This altitude would eliminate the environmental obstacles, as well as threats from small arms, light machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and the scourge of helicopter pilots, MANPADS.
* Flying at high altitudes can make it more difficult for helicopters to maintain visual contact and stay in formation, particularly if there is heavy cloud cover.
* Many helicopter countermeasure systems are optimize for operation at low altitudes and may not provide cover at high altitudes. Existing countermeasure system might have to be modified.
* A helicopter’s lifting performance is reduced with altitude. Helicopter engines run hotter at higher altitudes, which reduces performance. Also, the aerodynamic performance of rotor systems decreases in thinner air.
* At high altitudes, there is a blind spot under the helicopter that can’t be visually scanned. This makes the helicopter’s underbelly vulnerable to attack.
These disadvantages are obviously not a problem with the Arrowhead system per se, but an issue for high-altitude helicopter flight in general.
But the advantages of high-altitude flight, reducing the number of helicopters and crewmembers lost in combat, far outweigh the problems. And the Arrowhead system, with its targeting range and night time/bad weather viewing capabilities, enable pilots to opt for high-altitude and/or night flying, if the situation requires it.
Contracts and Key Events
Unless otherwise noted, Arrowhead contracts are awarded to Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando, FL, by the US Army Aviation and Missile Command in Redstone Arsenal, AL.
FY 2011 – 2018
November 28/18: Night vision The US Army Contracting Command is modifying a contract with Lockheed Martin. The company will receive an extra $79 million to cover further work on Apache night vision sensor systems, subcomponent production and technical services. Night vision is enabled by Lockheed’s M-TADS/PNVS Arrowhead. Arrowhead is an electro-optical and fire control system that the Apache helicopter pilots use for combat targeting of their Hellfire missiles and other weapons, as well as flying in day, night, or bad weather missions. The Apache’s night vision sensors work on the forward-looking infrared (FLIR) system, which detects the infrared light released by heated objects. The FLIR sensor has three fields-of-view, a multi-target tracker, multiple-code laser spot tracking, and internal boresight. Work locations and relevant funding will be determined with each order. The contract is set to run through October 2021.
August 31/18: UAE The United Arab Emirates will receive a number of sensors, designators and processors for its AH-64E Apache helicopters as part of a US Foreign Military Sale. Lockheed Martin will produce modernized day sensor assembly (M-DSA) kits, laser range finder designators, and flight code processors at a cost of $44.8 million. The M-DSA, also known as Arrowhead, is an electro-optical and fire control system that the Apache helicopter pilots use for combat targeting of their Hellfire missiles and other weapons, as well as flying in day, night, or bad weather missions. Tin 2010, the UAE bought a total of 60 Apaches in a $5 billion deal. Work will be performed at the contractor’s location in Orlando, Florida and is scheduled for completion by the end of April, 2022.
April 02/18: Egypt-FMS Lockheed Martin Corp. will provide Arrowhead upgrade kits in support of the Egyptian Air Force AH-64 Apache helicopter fleet. The contract modification is valued at $7.7 million. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida and is scheduled for completion by October 2022. The AH-64A/D Apache has become a dominant attack helicopter around the globe, in service abroad with Britain, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the UAE. All are strong candidates for AH-64E upgrades at some point, and some have already placed formal export requests. The Arrowhead system is an electro-optical and fire control system that Apache helicopter pilots use for combat targeting of their Hellfire and other weapons, as well as flying in day, night, or bad weather missions. The system also provides accurate targeting at high altitudes. Egypt operates at least 45 Apache helicopters to help counter jihadists operating in the Sinai desert.
January 4/18: Egypt-FMS Egypt’s AH-64 Apache helicopter fleet will be fitted with Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor System (M-TADS/PNVS) kits, following the award of a foreign military sales (FMS) contract modification by the US Department of Defense (DoD) to Lockheed Martin. Work on the $25 million contract, which includes spares, will take place at Orlando, Florida, with an estimated completion date of April 30, 2020. The M-TADS/PNVS system is designed to integrate onto the AH-64 Apache, giving operators a long range, precision engagement and pilotage solution for day, night, and adverse weather missions. Egypt operates at least 45 Apache helicopters following orders in 2003 and a follow on order in 2009—the latter delivered in late 2014 to help counter jihadists operating in the Sinai desert after the sale was suspended after the military ousted the elected president Mohamed Morsi.
Sept 9/13: South Korea. The Longbow LLC joint venture in Orlando, FL receives a $51.1 million firm-fixed-price contract for 6 Longbow fire control radars, plus associated parts, spares and support. It’s part of Korea’s 36-helicopter buy, which has already seen orders for 36 helicopters, their engines, MTADS-PNVS surveillance and targeting turrets, and now a limited number of Longbow radars. Total announced so far: $1.236 billion, out of a $1.6 billion budget.
The Republic of Korea is the Longbow radar’s 10th international customer, and production under their order is scheduled through 2016. Work will be performed in Orlando, FL; Ocala, FL; and Baltimore, MD. US Army Contracting Command, Aviation at Redstone Arsenal, AL acts as South Korea’s agent (W58RGZ-13-C-0105). Sources: Pentagon | NGC & Lockheed releases, Sept 12/13.
South Korea: 6
Aug 8/13: 1M hours. Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army officially celebrate 1 million flight hours for the M-TADS/PNVS “Arrowhead” system since 2005, during ceremonies held at Lockheed Martin’s Orlando, FL final assembly facility. The firm claims that:
“M-TADS/PNVS enhances system performance and reliability by more than 150 percent, reduces maintenance actions by nearly 60 percent, and will save the U.S. Army nearly $1 billion in operation and support costs over its 40-year system life.”
Aug 1/13: South Korea. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando, FL receives a maximum $223.3 million contract to buy M-TADS/PNVS systems for South Korea (q.v. April 17/13). Lockheed Martin later confirms that this is the 1st announced contract in their 36-machine AH-64E order, covering 36 Arrowhead systems and spares, with production and delivery extending through 2018. Electronics assembly will take place at the Ocala, FL facility, with final assembly performed in Orlando, FL.
South Korea becomes the system’s 12th international customer. Oddly, the Pentagon release says that 3 bids were solicited, with 3 bids received. The system only has 1 manufacturer, and it would be very expensive to integrate a different system on the AH-64. US Army Contracting Command in Redstone Arsenal, AL acts as South Korea’s agent (W58RGZ-13-C-0104). Lockheed Martin.
March 8/13: Support. A $6.6 million firm-fixed-price contract to support the MTADS/PNVS. Work will be performed in Orlando, FL with an estimated completion date of Feb 28/14. One bid was solicited through the Internet, with 1 bid received (W58RGZ-13-C-0029).
Feb 13/13: Upgrades. Lockheed Martin announces 2 US Army production contracts totaling $161.7 million, to continue upgrades of the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS Arrowhead) program. This will continue production at Lockheed’s Ocala, FL facility until Q3 2016.
The Lot 2 and Lot 3 contracts cover 482 Modernized Day Sensor Assembly (M-DSA) Modernized Laser Rangefinder Designator (M-LRFD) kits and spares. 1st deliveries of the M-DSA and M-LRFD will happen in early 2013, as the result of the US Army’s February 2012 order. Lockheed Martin.
Dec 20/12: Support. A $96.7 million firm-fixed-price contract modification to support MTADS/PNVS. This is the 1st of 3 options under the July 26/12 contract, whose maximum 4-year value is apparently $375 million. Note the use of a fixed-price contract for support, in order to drive reliability and maintainability improvements.
Work will be performed in Orlando, with an estimated completion date of Dec 31/15. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with 1 bid received (W58RGZ-12-C-0009). See also Lockheed Martin.
Nov 1/12: An $18.3 million firm-fixed-price contract modification to buy MTADS/PNVS “Arrowhead” units. Work was performed in Orlando, FL; the listed completion date was Oct 22/12. One bid was solicited, with one bid received (W58RGZ-11-C-0120).
July 26/12: It’s announced as a $65.3 million firm-fixed-price contract “for the services in support of the Apache helicopter,” but that’s completely misleading. It’s actually the base award for a contract that could be worth up to $375 million over about 3 1/2 years, to provide fixed-price support for “Arrowhead” MTADS/PNVS units.
Work will be performed in Orlando, FL, with an estimated completion date of Dec 31/15. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with 1 bid received (W58RGZ-12-C-0009).
Jan 5/12: Saudi Arrowheads. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando, FL received a $66.6 million firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. The award will provide for the procurement of AH-64D Apache M-TDAS/PNVS (“Arrowhead”) systems and spares for the Saudi Arabia National Guard. Work will be performed in Orlando, FL, with an estimated completion date of March 31/15. One bid was solicited, with 1 bid received by US Army Contracting Command in Redstone Arsenal, AL as the Saudi’s FMS agent (W58RGZ-11-C-0120).
This is one of several ancillary contracts supporting reports that Saudi Arabia has signed a deal to buy AH-64E helicopters. That deal wasn’t announced publicly, so it isn’t clear if other services may be covered. Beyond the SANG’s interest in buying 36 Apache Longbow Block IIIs, the Royal Guard wanted 10, and the regular Army wanted to add 24 AH-64Es to its existing fleet of 12 AH-64D Block IIs. See the Oct 20/10 DSCSA request for more.
Dec 30/11: A $7.8 million firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, buying Modernized Laser Range Finder Designator Lot 1 kits and associated spares. The contract is Arrowhead’s, and the system does use an LRFD module.
Work will be performed in Orlando, FL with an estimated completion date of April 30/14. One bid was solicited, with one bid received (W58RGZ-11-C-0120).
Nov 21/11: Support. Lockheed Martin Corp. in Orlando, FL received a $45.8 million firm-fixed-price contract for MTADS/PNVS support. Work will be performed in Orlando, FL, with an estimated completion date of Dec 31/12. One bid was solicited, with one bid received by the U.S. Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, AL (W58RGZ-12-C-0009).
Nov 9/11: Lot 8. A $163.7 million firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification buys more M-TADS/PNVS “Arrowheads”. Based on past contracts, this is Production Lot 8, and it will buy 110-140 systems.
Work will be performed in Orlando, FL, with an estimated completion date of Nov 30/14. One bid was solicited, with one bid received (W58RGZ-11-C-0120).
Sept 7/11: Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando, FL receives a $15.3 million firm-fixed-price contract modification, buying M-TADS/PNVS “Arrowhead” surveillance and targeting turrets.
Work will be performed in Orlando, FL, with an estimated completion date of Nov 30/13. One bid was solicited, with one bid received, by U.S. Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, AL (W58RGZ-06-C-0169).
June 3/11: Support. A $48.8 million firm-fixed-price contract extends another 6 months of spares support for the AH-64 Apache’s original TADS/PNVS and modernized MTADS/Arrowhead.
Work will be performed in Orlando, FL, with an estimated completion date of Dec 31/11. One bid was solicited, with one bid received (W58RGZ-07-C-0058).
March 4/11: RESET. A $9.3 million firm-fixed-price contract for RESET support to include inspection, refurbishment, and removal of sand, dust and foreign material intrusion to the Apache Arrowhead sight. Work will be performed in Orlando, FL, with an estimated completion date of Feb 28/12. One bid was solicited with one bid received (W58RGZ-10-C-0023).
Dec 28/10: Retrofits. A $14.9 million firm-fixed-price contract for “the modification and application of B-kit to legacy and modified-legacy components of the [MTADS/PNVS].” A subsequent Lockheed Martin release explains this more clearly, as 1st Lot production of 65 VNsight visible/near infrared sensors for Arrowhead’s modernized pilot night vision sensor, plus spares. Upgrades will be performed as field retrofits, and the contract will equip 2 American AH-64 Apache helicopter battalions, plus an initial quantity of cameras and spares to outfit an unidentified foreign customer.
Work will be performed in Orlando, FL, with an estimated completion date of Dec 31/11. One bid was solicited with one bid received (W58RGZ-10-C-0023).
Dec 17/10: Support. A $48.8 million firm-fixed-price contract to support both legacy TADS/PNVS and Arrowhead systems. This includes tier 2/3 repair and maintenance of line replaceable units and line replaceable modules, to support the Apache’s sensors flying hours program. Work is to be completed in Orlando, FL, with an estimated completion date of June 30/11. One bid was solicited with one bid received (W58RGZ-07-C-0058).
Nov 1/10: Retrofits. Lockheed Martin announces a $65 million contract to modernize the day sensor assembly and associated electronics on the Apache’s M-TADS/PNVS (Arrowhead) system. The modernization includes upgrades to the multi-mode laser rangefinder/designator, visible color sensor, laser spot tracker, inertial measurement unit, modernized day sensor structure assembly and a potential for future laser pointer marker compatibility.
FY 2008 – 2010
Aug 17/10: Lot 7. Lockheed Martin announces a $260 million follow-on production contract for Production Lot 7 of the M-TADS/PNVS (Arrowhead) system. The Lot 7 contract includes new systems, Arrowhead kits that modernize existing TADS/PNVS turrets, and spares, for delivery to U.S. Army and “several international customers.” By the end of Lot 7, which extends production through April 2013, over 1,000 kits will have been delivered. Bob Gunning, Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control’s VP of Apache Fire Control was predictably enthusiastic, but with some content to it:
“Field Commanders describe Arrowhead as a game-changing system in combat. Maintenance time is down and operational time is up; reports from users are that performance has been terrific. We have a great team working the program for us as the Army prepares to modernize the remaining legacy components of the original TADS/PNVS system.”
April 14/10: A $46.2 million firm-fixed-price contract for the purchase of Arrowhead sensor systems for AH-64 Apache attack helicopter for several international customers. The orders are destined for Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Netherlands, which have all submitted requests to buy the Arrowhead systems via the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).
March 11/10: Retrofits. A 3-year, $36.8 million contract to upgrade existing TADS/PNVS systems on AH-64 Apache helicopters with the Arrowhead system. Work will performed at Lockheed Martin’s Arizona Support Center. The contract includes fielding activities, such as sending teams of support technicians to US Army Apache locations worldwide.
Feb 22/10: Support. A follow-on performance-based logistics (PBL) contract worth up to $90 million to support the existing TADS/PNVS and the Arrowhead M-TADS/PNVS systems on the AH-64 Apache helicopter. This is the 3rd option for the original PBL contract awarded in 2007 (see May 11/07 entry). Under the PBL contract, Lockheed Martin provides post-production supply chain management, including spares planning, procurement, repairs, maintenance, modifications and inventory management of fielded systems. The combined value of the initial PBL contract, and the first 2 options was $283.4 million.
click to play video
Feb 16/10: UK Support. Lockheed Martin announces that AgustaWestland awarded the company a $49.5 million sustainment and support contract for the TADS/PNVS and M-TADS/PNVS systems on the UK Apache AH Mk-1 helicopter. Under the contact, Lockheed Martin will provide post-production services, including spare parts, in-country repair and technical services, as well as logistics, engineering and depot repair support. AgustaWestland provides support services for the UK Apache fleet to the UK Ministry of Defence. Support under this contract will continue through March 2014.
Britain: multi-year support sub-contract
July 27/09: A $142 million follow-on production contract (Lot 6) for the Arrowhead system. The contract includes 55 Arrowhead kits to update the TADS/PNVS systems on US Army Apache helicopters and “Apache helicopters for several international customers.”
With the completion of Lot 6, which extends production through December 2011, over 850 Arrowhead systems will have been delivered to the US Army and international.
July 14/09: Support. A follow-on performance-based logistics (PBL) contract worth up to $89 million to support the existing TADS/PNVS and the Arrowhead M-TADS/PNVS systems on the AH-64 Apache helicopter. Under the PBL contract, Lockheed Martin will provide post-production supply chain management, including spares planning, procurement, repairs, maintenance, modifications, and inventory management of fielded systems. The value of the original PBL contract was $117.8 million and the 1st option year contract was worth $76.6 million.
Dec 3/08: Upgrade. A 3-year, $16.9 million contract to modernize the laser transceiver in the Apache helicopter’s day sensor assembly (DSA) located in the Arrowhead’s lower turret (targeting system). The complete day sensor modernization program will be composed of 2 phases, with a separate contract for development and production in each phase. Phase 1 will complete modernization of the laser rangefinder/ designator and associated electronics, while Phase 2 will include modernization of the remaining DSA elements. Work will be performed in Orlando and Ocala, FL, with an estimated completion date of 2011.
July 14/08: Pathfinder. Lockheed Martin announces that its Pathfinder flight team established operations at Felker Army Airfield, Fort Eustis, VA, in preparation for the system’s developmental and limited-user evaluation by the US Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate. Army aircrews will evaluate the Pathfinder system’s performance on an Army Reserve HH-60L Black Hawk MEDEVAC helicopter. Lockheed Martin will lead an industry team that includes BAE Systems, Elbit-Fort Worth and Thales.
July 9/08: Industrial. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control announces the opening of its Arizona Support Center to integrate Arrowhead M-TADS/PNVS systems into AH-64D Apache helicopters. The center will also provide repair services for the Arrowhead system and legacy TADS/PNVS systems.
April 7/08: A $172 million follow-on production contract (Lot 5) for the Arrowhead systems. The Lot 5 contract authorizes production of 126 Arrowhead kits and/or equivalent unit spares, foreign military sales kits and ground support equipment. With options, this will bring the total number of Arrowhead kits and/or systems to 785 to date.
Lot 5: 126
FY 2001 – 2007
May 11/07: Lockheed Martin announces a $380 million performance-based logistics (PBL) contract to support the TADS/PNVS and Arrowhead M-TADS/PNVS systems, worth up to $380 million over 4 years. The contract provides complete post-production supply chain management, including spares planning, procurement, repairs, maintenance, modifications and inventory management of fielded systems.
Support under this 4-year contract will continue through 2010. The first year’s contract value is expected to be approximately $123 million.
Multi-year support 2007-2010
March 5/07: A $311 million follow-on production contract (Lot 4) for the Arrowhead system for the AH-64 Apache helicopter. The Lot 4 agreement authorizes production of 158 Arrowhead kits for some of the remaining US Army and foreign military sales inventory, as well as Arrowhead systems for new wartime replacement helicopters, and spares for both types.
Lockheed Martin will produce Lot 4 in Orlando and Ocala, FL. The final deliveries for Lot 4 production will occur in December 2009.
Lot 4: 158
June 26/06: A $385.6 million follow-on production contract (Lot 3) for the Arrowhead system for the AH-64 Apache helicopter. The Lot 3 contract authorizes production of 219 Arrowhead kits plus spares for the US Army and foreign military sales.
Lockheed Martin will produce the Lot 3 systems in Orlando and Ocala, FL, with final deliveries of the upgraded helicopters in December 2010.
Lot 3: 219
Oct 3/05: Lockheed Martin announces delivery of its first 8 Arrowhead systems for the US Army’s AH-64D Apache helicopters.
The Lockheed Martin Arrowhead team outfitted the 8 helicopters at Boeing’s Apache production facility in Mesa, AZ. The Arrowhead-equipped Apache helicopters departed for Fort Hood in 2 flights beginning June 23/05.
Aug 5/05: +13. A $75 million firm-fixed price contract for 13 modernized Arrowhead target sights & pilot’s night-vision sensors.
The work will be performed at Lockheed Martin’s Orlando, FL facilities and will be complete by Jan 13/08. The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal, AL manages the contract (W58RGZ-04-C-0302).
May 25/05: Lockheed Martin announces a $212 million contract from AgustaWestland to supply Arrowhead kits for the UK’s Apache AH Mk-1 helicopters.
The first UK Arrowhead kit will be delivered in April 2007. Flight testing is scheduled to begin in late spring 2007. Integration of Arrowhead on the first 4 UK helicopters is scheduled for completion in January 2009, and retrofit of the entire UK fleet is scheduled for completion by the end of 2010.
British retrofit buy
May 2/05: A $262.4 million Lot 2 modification to a firm-fixed-price production contract for Arrowhead units, with accompanying initial spares. Discussions confirmed that this is a finalized version of Lockheed Martin’s Feb 17/05 announcement, which had pegged the contract at $247 million for 97 Arrowhead systems, on behalf of the U.S. Army and Foreign Military Sales customers.
The subsequent Aug 5/05 announcement appears to bring the Lot 2 contract to $337.4 million for 110 MTADS/PNVS.
Work on Arrowhead production will be performed in Orlando, FL, and is expected to be complete by Oct 31/07. This was a sole source contract initiated on June 8/04 by US Army Aviation and Missile Command in Redstone Arsenal, AL. (W58RGZ-04-C-0302).
The Lot 2 deliveries will begin in July 2006. The Army’s first unit equipped with Arrowhead will be fielded in June 2005. Currently, the U.S. Army intends to buy 704 Arrowhead systems to outfit its AH-64 Apache fleet by 2011.
Lot 2: 110
Dec 8/03: A $260 million production contract (Lot 1) to supply Arrowhead systems for the AH-64 Apache helicopter fleet.
The Lot 1 contract is for 55 Arrowhead systems and initial spares, for the US Army and Foreign Military Sales customers, with deliveries beginning in March 2005.
Lot 1: 55
July 27/01: Lockheed Martin and Boeing announce the signing of an agreement to cooperate on the incorporation of the M-TADS/PNVS systems into AH-64 Apache helicopter. Boeing is the prime contractor on the multi-role combat helicopter while Lockheed Martin is developing Arrowhead for the Apache Longbow.
Cooperation agreement with Boeing
* Lockheed Martin – M-TADS/PNVS (Arrowhead). Surveillance, targeting, and pilot vision system.
* DID – AH-64E Apache Guardian: The Once and Future Attack Helicopter. Will also be equipped with the Arrowhead.
* DID (June 9/06) – The Well-Equipped Apache: Longbows, Arrowheads & Hellfire
* Deagel.com – Arrowhead XR
* Aviationnews.eu (Feb 24/10) – Lockheed Martin Awarded Apache M-TADS/PNVS Performance Based Logistics Follow-On Contract
* Army Times (April 8/08) – Army vows infrared sensors for Longbow
* Armed Forces Journal (June 2007) – Shootdown solution
* MANPRINT newsletter (Spring/Summer 2007) – A MANPRINT Success Story: The Modernized Target Acquisition Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor
* Avionics magazine (Feb 1/07) – Arrowhead’s Vision Enhancement
* Army magazine (January 2006) – Modernized Target Acquisition Designation System Pilot Night Vision Sensor for the Apache
* USMC Command and Staff College (2005) – A Deadly Combination: Integration of the AH-64D M-TADS and High Altitude Tactics on the Modern Urban Battlefield [pdf]
* National Defense (July 1/01) – Gunship Sensors Optimized for Urban Warfare