Lockheed Martin Will Upgrade Apaches

The U.S. Army has awarded Lockheed Martin two contracts, worth $161.7 million, to upgrade the targeting and night vision systems on the AH-64 Apache helicopter.

The contracts will upgrade the Apache’s Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor, according to a Lockheed Martin release.

The deal includes 482 Modernized Day Sensor Assembly (M-DSA) Modernized Laser Rangefinder Designator kits (M-LRFD) and spares. The Army ordered 92 of these kits and spares in February 2012, and the first of those units will be delivered in early 2013.

“These two production lots represent our continued confidence in Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control to provide a high performing, high quality, reliable LRFD for the AH-64D/E,” said Lt. Col. Steve Van Riper, U.S. Army product manager of Apache Sensors. “We look forward to our first delivery and subsequent fielding of this capability.”

About the Author

Matt Cox
Matthew Cox is a reporter at Military.com. He can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.
  • Lance

    A Army upgrade long needed hope more pics of the AH-64E. Looks good hope it loses the dumb radar dome that the D had.

    • Guest

      You can hope, but will be disappointed. E retains the antenna fairing, to protect an FCR or UAV TCDL antenna, on most of the airframes.

  • blight_

    Coulda sworn the only way to get new technology into the field was to build a whole new vehicle around it! /sarc

  • Ron

    Long may you run Apache!

  • blight_

    The release from lockmart:

    “Modernized Day Sensor Assembly (M-DSA) completes the modernization of the Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) system, also
    known as Arrowhead®”

  • tiger

    How come there is no Apache hate club? As a program it has more of a reputation as a hanger queen than battlefield game changer. Yet here they are throwing another $161 million in “upgrades” at it.

    • crackedlenses

      “How come there is no Apache hate club?”

      Uh, perhaps because it is a lethal attack helicopter?

      “As a program it has more of a reputation as a hanger queen than battlefield game changer.”

      Uh, perhaps because it was built for wiping out armored battalions, and we ran out of those years ago?

      Your point again?

    • tee

      Hanger Queen??, Ya Right, ask the ground troops in Afghanistan that it does CAS for how they like it. The Apache & A-10 are the most requested platforms in the theater.

    • I’m in A-Stan

      So, when was the last time you served in OIF/OEF, you armchair couch potato? I know battalions of infantry that would love to dispute your comment.

      • scott

        lol agreed

    • Mark
  • tee

    I sure hope the up-grade includes the ability to use the New Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) by BAE. That would allow the Apache to carry 8 Hellfires & 38 APKWS’s for a total of 46 Precision Guided Weapons plus the gun, Nice !!!

    • JEFF

      I thought the apache was limited to the weight it could carry, especially in hot/high environments?

    • Guest

      Laser guided rockets is an entirely separate program, and one that the Army keeps backing off from. The field cant give up its obsession with unguided rockets. The Navy and Marines seem interested though.

      • tee

        You are right, the Marines have been using them in Afghanistan with tremendous success. If the Army doesn’t use the new APKWS rockets then the Marines with the Cobra Z will have the most heavily armed Attack copter in the US inventory. Because it will be able to field 8 Hellfires & 38 APKWS’s for a total of 46 Precision Guided Weapons plus 2 Sidewinders for Air to Air and the 20mm gun.

    • Mark

      It’s all about the money. It would be great to have guided rockets but the Army is not going to spend the money on them right now. Though, if you think about it, one laser guided rocket to take out one bad guy is better than using an $80,000 missile.

  • jeff

    Nice to see a DoD program actually living up to all the hype and not an endless money pit like the JSF, LCS, ABL, ect.

    • maddawg77

      The JSF another Lockheed Martin Money pit. If Something will go wrong than you got the right company overruns and fix prices don’t mean nothing to Lockheed as long as they get $$$$.

  • charles

    tiger - u obviously have spent no time in Iraq or Afgan.

    • Noha307

      And you obviously have spent no time in school.

  • tee

    I know this site won’t post “Negative” new on the Junk Strike Fighter, So here is the latest from the Dutch as of 2/14/13 “JSF Jet Does Not Fit In Revised Dutch Defence Strategy, Says Institute “. I see another Gripen NG contract coming soon, because all three Scandinavian countries usually get a lot of the same type equipment because of their operational agreements,

    • Thomas L. Nielsen

      News Flash: The Netherlands is not a Scandinavian country.

      And even ignoring the geography fail, how is any of this relevant to the upgrade of the Apache? You know, the actual subject being discussed here?

      Regards & all,

      Thomas L. Nielsen
      Luxembourg (expat Dane)

  • Kole

    I hate to be cynical, but why does Lockheed Martin win Apache contracts when the damn F-22 OBOGS is still causing issues? (That have KILLED pilots)

    • tmb2

      In case you’re not tracking, Lockheed Martin is HUGE. The aircraft department, weapons department, and ground vehicles department operate independently of each other. They’re practically different companies. In fact in many cases they actually are products of previous companies that Lockheed bought up over the years. It wouldn’t surprise me if the guys working on the Apache’s targeting systems have never met the F-22 designers.

      • Musson

        Maybe we should arrange an introduction.

      • Kole

        I know Lockheed Martin is huge, it’s more of an ethics thing to me. Our people who serve depend on these systems, and neglecting an entire issue on one end of the spectrum should have consequences on all fronts. If you were to do business with someone who does half of what you want done, I’d guarantee they would get a nice firing. Lock-Mart should not be different.

  • stephen russell

    Cant we have a Naval version of the Apache for the MC use alone??

    • Beno

      Buy the British version WAH-64

      Folding Blades, Marinised hull ( somewhat )
      Upgraded Engins
      And soon to be upgraded Radar for Marine environment.

      ( See MHS Ocean Libya )

      • UH34D

        Beno…Good point. I also have this from Army Apache pilots; why does the British Apache used in A’stan have a larger combat load than the American Apache’s? I think I know the answer, the Rolls engine in the British version, but it just bugs the heck out of me to know our men have to carry less ammo for their gun as an example due to less lift capability. If it’s the engine, why can’t GE build an one that compares to the Rolls? Also wondering if our Apache has gear on it that’s not really needed in a place like A’stan and is wasted weight?

        • blight_

          Buy American, luuuuul.

          We have Rolls engines for the LCS, the Zumwalt, the Harrier and JSF-B.

        • Guest

          The Brit sector is at lower elevations, which allow a greater power margin than the US units that fly way up in the mountains.

        • Mark

          The Echo model will solve your concerns. This time it really is an ALL WEATHER attack aircraft.

        • Mike
    • tmb2

      Stephen, the Corps is quite happy with the AH-1. They’ve been using it for decades and keep upgrading it. It’s also a bit skinnier than the Apache and deck space is always a factor for them.

      • Gues

        The new AH-1Z is basically an entirely new aircraft, so there’s no real need for a Marine Corps Apache

    • Maddawg77

      That would be too easy since the Marines Buy on the cheap and try to strech it out a long time, But the AH-64 would be a great fit for the forward Marines!

  • Jack

    The naval version of the Apache is the Apache. We’ve been doing a lot more overwater time and landing on ships of late.

    • Guest

      The E is shipboard compliant, the D is not.

  • maj10113

    they really shouldn’t if they ever want the upgrades……

  • Barry

    This is what the MC needs for CAS. A lot more capability per $ than the F35B

  • 51yanks

    Apaches have done a fine job given the challenging environment and terrain of Afghanistan. Heavy cross winds at high altitudes in mountain passes where Black Hawks and even Chinooks have difficulty maintaining level flight at times plus the sand, extremes of heat and cold. Hope the ground crews in AFGN get to use the new targeting system and evaluate its capabilities and new maintenance tweaks in record time.

  • george
  • george
  • SFP

    I hate to be cynical, but why does Lockheed Martin win Apache contracts when the damn F-22 OBOGS is still causing issues? (That have KILLED pilots)