The US Navy has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin to produce target sight systems (TSS) for US Marine Corps AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopters.

Under the $44m contract, the company will supply 18 TSS units, providing Cobra pilots with enhanced capabilities to acquire, track and designate targets.

The US Marine Corps programme manager Colonel Harry Hewson said TSS allowed the pilots to put warheads on target.

“TSS provides the eyes and the combat power marine pilots need to support others on the battlefield,” he said.

With integrated state-of-the-art sensors, the TSS provides superior imagery via a sensor suite specifically designed for the AH-1Z marine helicopter.

The sensor-suite comprises a laser designator, colour television and a mid-wave infrared sensor with advanced image processing.

Work will be carried out at the company’s facilities in Florida and deliveries are scheduled to be complete by 2011.