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AH-1W Super Cobra

The US Naval Surface Warfare Center’s (NSWC) Crane Division, has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin to deliver the AN/AAQ-30 target sight system (TSS) and data.

Under the $33.9m follow-on production contract, the Lockheed Martin will supply TSS advanced sensors for installation on to the US Marine Corps’ (USMC) AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopter.

The initial TSS production contract was awarded by the US Naval Surface Warfare Center in March 2008 with follow-on production contracts in June 2010, August 2011 and May 2012.

The first TSS system was delivered in June 2009, while the company has recently begun the delivery of production units in support of Lot 8 AH-1Z aircraft.

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By GlobalData

Work under the contracts will be carried out at the company’s facilities in Ocala and Orlando, Florida, US and is expected to be completed by November 2015.

"The target sight system will allow pilots to see farther, engage threats with improved confidence and safely return to base."

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control airborne systems senior programme manager, Brad Partain, said the target sight system will allow pilots to see farther, engage threats with improved confidence and safely return to base.

"This contract allows our TSS team to move seamlessly into an accelerated delivery schedule, ensuring the system is available to warfighters during critical missions," Partain said.

Capable of providing pilots with enhanced capabilities to acquire, track and designate targets, the highly-stabilised TSS features a laser designator, colour video display and a third-generation, mid-wave, forward-looking infrared sensor with advanced image processing.

The TSS will be integrated into the AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopter, as a part of the USMC’s H-1 upgrades programme, intended to replace AH-1W helicopters with new and remanufactured AH-1Zs.

Image: A USMC’s AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter conducting mission. Photo: file image.