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Lockheed Martin gets $90M to upgrade Qatar’s Apache helicopter fleet

The Army is awarding Lockheed Martin a $90 million contract to help Qatar’s air force enhance its Apache helicopter attack fleet, the defense giant announced Monday.

The Bethesda, Md.-based company will provide Qatar with the “Arrowhead” system, known formally as the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS).

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The system helps Apache pilots improve their “long-range, precision” targeting and vision at night and in adverse weather conditions, Lockheed Martin said in a statement.

Mike Taylor, the international programs director for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Apache, said the Qatari air force will be one of the first foreign nations to have their fleet equipped with new lasers that will help pilots target their weapons more accurately.

“The new Laser Range Finder Designator is more than two times more reliable, improves targeting performance and can be repaired or replaced on the flight line, which significantly reduces operation and support costs," he said in a statement.

The Qatari air force last month joined the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), striking the terror groups targets in Syria. The new Apache systems, though, will take years to produce.

The systems will continue to be produced in Orlando and Ocala, Fla., through 2017, Lockheed Martin said.