Lockheed Martin to upgrade and support sensors for Japan's Apache fleet

April 26, 2017 Photo(s): By US Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Nardel Gervacio
Lockheed Martin's M-TADS upgrade improves targeting, streamlines maintenance and enhances commonality for Japanese Apaches. Here, a JGSDF Apache takes off from the JS Hyuga during a joint U.S.-Japan exercise

Lockheed Martin has received contracts to upgrade the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M TADS/PNVS) system for Japan's fleet of AH-64DJP Apache attack helicopters and provide Performance Based Logistics (PBL) support.

Under the M-TADS/PNVS contract, Lockheed Martin will deliver 14 laser designation kits through 2020 to upgrade Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) M-TADS systems. The Modernized Day Sensor Assembly (M-DSA) upgrade improves laser reliability and the Apache's ability to designate targets and establish accurate target range. The company's Apache sustainment team will also provide PBL support under a separate three-year contract.

"Lockheed Martin's M-DSA laser designator significantly enhances the capabilities of Japan's Apache fleet," said Paul Lemmo, vice president of Fire Control/SOF CLSS at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "Modernizing the M-TADS system delivers improved weapon effectiveness to JGSDF aircrews and streamlined sustainment support to maintainers."

Lockheed Martin will also upgrade JGSDF test equipment and provide in-country training. Japan is the first international Apache customer to receive a M-DSA field upgrade to its M-TADS/PNVS system.

M-TADS/PNVS, known as the "eyes of the Apache," provides pilots with long-range, precision engagement and pilotage capabilities for safe flight during day, night and adverse weather missions. Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 1,350 M-TADS/PNVS systems and spares to the U.S. Army and international customers, including more than a dozen to Japan.