12-Oct-2011 Source: Lockheed Martin
The VNsight visible/near infrared sensor provides Apache pilots with significant tactical advantages, particularly in low-light-level conditions. Â VNsight is integrated into the Modernized PNVS, the pilotage system of the combat-proven Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS), also known as ArrowheadÂ®, for the AH-64D Apache attack helicopter.
“VNsight is another tool our pilots can employ to ensure mission success,” said Lt. Col.Â Steve Van Riper, U.S. Army Apache Sensors product manager. Â “When blended with the outstanding PNVS output, this additional electro-optical sensor provides composite pilotage imagery unmatched by any other system.”
The VNsight Lot 2 production contract will supply 112 sensors and spares for four U.S. Army Apache battalions, plus additional Foreign Military Sales sensors. Â Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control produces the VNsight lens and serves as the system integrator, while Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors inÂ Akron, Ohio, provides the sensor’s camera.
By blending VNsight imagery with the M-PNVS forward looking infrared (FLIR) imagery, pilots can see cultural and military lighting accurately overlaid on the FLIR image over the full 30-by-40 degree field of view of the M-PNVS. Â This ensures safer flying conditions and enhanced mission capability by improving situational awareness in low-light-level conditions and situations where existing light sources cannot be imaged by the FLIR.
“This capability provides increased situational awareness that is critical to our soldiers in theater,” saidÂ Matt Hoffman, Arrowhead program director in Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control business. Â “VNsight Lot 2 enables us to upgrade 30 percent of all Apache battalions currently equipped with M-TADS/PNVS.”
Headquartered inÂ Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2010 sales from continuing operations wereÂ $45.8 billion.