The U.S. Army has received shipment of Lockheed Martin’s night vision camera—the “VNsight”—for use on the Apache attack helicopters, the company says.
The VNsight adds a low-light-level display capability to the AH-64D Apache’s combat-proven “Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor, “ which is also called the “Arrowhead” system.
“VNsight gives the Apache fleet a new and improved warfighting capability,” said Lt. Col. John Vannoy, U.S. Army product manager for Apache Sensors. “While the primary purpose of the VNsight camera is for image-blending with the M-PNVS forward-looking infrared, the VNsight camera technology permits pilots to see cultural lighting, tracers and some ground lasers.
“Not only is this an enhancement in our warfighting capabilities, but it also significantly improves pilot safety,” he said.
By blending VNsight imagery with the M-PNVS FLIR imagery, pilots can accurately see and identify cultural and military lighting, including lasers, markers, beacons and tracer rounds, ensuring safer flying conditions and enhanced mission capability, Lockheed says. The VNsight Lot 1 production contract includes sensors and spares to equip two U.S. Apache battalions and an international customer.
Delivering the first VNsight units on schedule establishes the start of a production line capable of producing eight units per month, says Lockheed, which has VNsight production options for up to 10 Army battalions extending into 2015.
Army Seeks More ‘VNsight’ Low-Light Systems for Helicopters
The infrared sensor provides Apache pilots with tactical advantages, particularly in low-light-level conditions.