Lockheed Martin [LMT] yesterday said it delivered the first Modernized Day Sensor Assembly (M-DSA) upgrade prototype units to the Army for use on the Boeing [BA] AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.
Five System Design and Development (SDD) Laser Rangefinder Designators (LRFDs) were recently delivered to the Army under a three-year contract awarded to Lockheed Martin in September 2008 to modernize the Apache’s Day Sensor Assembly, the company said in a statement.
The LRFD is the chief targeting aid for the Apache, establishing the range to the target for accurate weapon aiming. For the Hellfire II missile, the LRFD designates the aim point with a laser spot. Additionally, the M-DSA LRFD adds an eye-safe laser for safe training exercises.
“Delivery of these five SDD lasers proves the wisdom of our approach to modernizing the rest of the TADS/PNVS,” said Wayne Hudry, Army Apache Sensors deputy product manager. “As the first critical component of the upgrades coming for the M-DSA, the LRFD provides an improved tactical laser that supports future weapons, as well as an eye-safe laser that provides soldiers the capability to train like they fight.”
The first phase of the upgrades is being performed to mitigate obsolescence and enhance the system’s performance, as well as to increase the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) system’s ability to fully accommodate future weapons.
A second phase includes upgrades to the visible color sensor, laser spot tracker, inertial measurement unit and day sensor structure assembly and adds a laser pointer/marker compatibility. This effort recently completed a successful critical design review in its SDD contract.
“This delivery is a critical step in the Army’s initiative to put more capable and maintainable targeting systems in the hands of Apache aircrews,” said Matt Hoffman , program director of M-TADS/PNVS in Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control business.