Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman have been awarded a US Army contract for AH-64E Apache Longbow fire control radars for Morocco and three other countries.
Lockheed Martin on 4 September said the contract was awarded to the joint venture Longbow Limited Liability Company (LBL) and covers AN/APG-78 Longbow radars for Morocco, the Netherlands, the UAE and the India Army.
Morocco this year ordered 24 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters from Boeing in a deal worth $440 million, after requesting the aircraft in late 2019.
“The LBL team is excited to bring Morocco, Netherlands and India Army into the Longbow FCR [Fire Control Radar] user community, and to update UAE with new capabilities, as the ever-evolving missions of our US allies will benefit from our precision engagement capabilities,” said Jim Messina, LBL president and Lockheed Martin programme director. “The Longbow radar remains a relevant and important system for the missions Apache aircrews fly.”
The addition of Morocco, the Netherlands and India Army expands the Longbow customer base to include 16 foreign militaries and 14 nations. The UAE is updating from the AH-64D to the AH-64E aircraft. These contracts are a direct result of the five-year production requirements contract the US Department of Defence awarded to LBL in 2016.
“As Longbow Joint Venture marks 35 years of successful partnership, the addition of these customers is a testament to the deep experience and dedication the team brings to advance the FCR system to support our customer’s missions,” said Shalini Gupta, LBL vice president and Northrop Grumman director for Longbow programmes.
When coupled with the Apache’s unique system of sensors approach, Longbow FCR gives aircrews the capability to scan large areas at long ranges to identify threats and targets for prosecution with a low probability of being detected. If a target is identified, the data can be handed off to a missile and launch system, or if a target needs further identification and classification, the data is handed off to the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight (M-TADS) system for increased visual identification, Lockheed Martin said.
“LBL is now providing increased FCR capabilities with the Apache AH-64E Version 6 helicopter. Version 6 FCR software enhancements provide new operational modes and capabilities, including maritime, single target track, and 360-degree surveillance mode, as well as extended detection range against land, air and sea targets.”