Egyptian Air Force's AH-64D Apache attack helicopter
Egyptian Air Force's AH-64D Apache attack helicopter

Lockheed Martin to Upgrade Egyptian Air Force’s Apache Attack Helicopter with M-TADS/PNVS

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Lockheed Martin Corp. Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, Florida, was awarded a $102,389,630 firm-fixed-price contract for production and delivery of hardware components and spares of the Apache Attack Helicopter Modernized Target Acquisition Designation/Pilot Night Vision Sensor System (M-TADS/PNVS, Arrowhead). In May 2020, the U.S. State Department approved Egypt’s request to modernize 43 AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters to the latest AH-64E Apache Guardian standard for $2.3 billion. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of July 31, 2024. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

Modernized Target Acquisition Designation/Pilot Night Vision Sensor System (M-TADS/PNVS) advanced FLIR sensors enable Apache Crews to see first, understand first, act first, and finish decisively on the tactical battlefield. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

In 1995, the Egyptian Air Force placed an order for 36 AH-64As. Egypt requested a further 12 AH-64D Block IIs with Longbow radars through a Foreign Military Sale in 2009. The Egyptian Air Force (EAF) received 45 AH-64D aircraft from 2003 (35 were initially received, with a further 10 being ordered in 2010). These Apaches are fielded by the EAF’s 550 Attack Helicopter Regiment with 51 Squadron operating the type out of Wadi al Jandali and 52 Squadron based at Az Zaqaziq. On May 7, the US State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Egypt to refurbish the gunships. Cairo’s request to buy 10 new AH-64Es for $1 billion was greenlit by the State Department in November 2018.

Modernized Target Acquisition Designation/Pilot Night Vision Sensor System (M-TADS/PNVS) lightweight modules can be rapidly removed and replaced while the Apache helicopter is in the field. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

In 2020, the Government of Egypt has requested to buy equipment to refurbish 43 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters. This includes 88 T700-GE-701D engines; 47 AN/ASQ-170 Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sight/AN/AAR-11 Modernized Pilot Night Vision Sensors (MTADS/PNVS); 45 AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS); 92 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems (EGI). Also included are AN/AVR-2B Laser Detecting Sets, AN/APX-119 transponders, Identify Friend or Foe (IFF), AN/APN-209 radar altimeters, AN/ARN-149 Automatic Direction Finders, UHF/VHF radio, tactical AN/ARC-201E radio, APR-39 Radar Warning Sets, Improved Data Modems IDM-401, Enhanced Image Intensifiers EI2, Hellfire launchers M299, 2.75 inches 19 tube rocket launchers, M230 automatic guns, M230 spare gun barrels, MT06 initiators, cartridge actuated JAU-59, training devices, helmets, simulators, generators, transportation, wheeled vehicles and organization equipment.

With these Modernized Target Acquisition Designation/Pilot Night Vision Sensor System (M-TADS/PNVS) features – the advanced FLIR targeting and navigation sensors, new TEDAC flat-panel display, and multi-target tracker – Apache pilots who used to fight to see, can now see to fight. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin signed the original Target Acquisition and Designation Sights, Pilot Night Vision System (TADS/PNVS production contract on 30 April 1982, and the first TADS/PNVS system was fielded in 1983. The TADS/PNVS is the combined sensor and targeting unit fitted to the Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter. As of 2005, a program was underway to upgrade the U.S. Apache fleet to the Modernized-TADS/PNVS (M-TADS/PNVS) standard, also known as Arrowhead. This upgrade is claimed to give a 150% performance and reliability improvement while reducing costs through lower maintenance requirements. Modernized Turret’s enhanced performance addresses user requirements for greater rates and acceleration of sensors in azimuth and elevation.