TNI’s Apache choppers to be equipped with Lockheed technology

US-based aerospace and security company Lockheed Martin has announced it had won a US$80.6 million contract, which includes the production of night vision technology for eight Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters ordered by Indonesia.

The contract covers eight Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) systems for the US Army and nine systems for the Indonesian Army, according to a press release published at Lockheed’s official website on May 5.

Indonesia is the 13th international customer to purchase the M-TADS/PNVS system. The contract extends production in Orlando and Ocala, Fla., through July 2016, the release states.

“Being able to ‘bundle’ our procurement with one of our Foreign Military Sales partners increases our buying power,” said Lt. Col. Steven Van Riper, US Army Apache Sensors Product Manager.

“The M-TADS/PNVS system is helping save lives of our US and allied troops by giving Apache pilots the ability to engage targets accurately, and by improving situational awareness,” added Matt Hoffman, M-TADS/PNVS program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, as quoted in the statement.

The confirmation of the sales of eight Apache helicopters and Longbow radars worth US$500 million to the Indonesian Military (TNI) was made during a bilateral meeting between Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro and US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Jakarta in August, last year.

The deal includes pilot training, radars and maintenance. The helicopters are scheduled to arrive in Indonesia in phases from October 2014 to 2017.

The TNI has said it would base some of the Apaches in remote border areas such as in Natuna in the Riau Islands.

Lockheed states that the M-TADS/PNVS, which was fielded in 2005, is a targeting and pilotage system that provides Apache 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 1,200 M-TADS/PNVS systems and spares to the U.S. Army and international customers.

The Apache deal with the US marked a turn around in the Jakarta-Washington defense cooperation as it served as the largest military sale from the US since the country lifted its embargo on selling lethal arms to Indonesia in 2005.

Washington said it was determined to help build the capability of the TNI as part of its bid to enhance security ties with its Asia Pacific friends and reshape its role in the region amid Beijing’s growing military clout and territorial assertiveness.

Sumber : Jakartapost