Lockheed Martin TADS/PNVS Technology Transfer Counts In UK Apache Team Win of Gruppo Agusta International Vertical Flight Cooperation Award
ORLANDO, FL, 22-MAY-01 --
The international WAH-64 Apache Team recently received the 2001 Gruppo Agusta International Helicopter Fellowship Award for significant contributions to international vertical flight cooperation. The WAH-64 Apache Team award marks the successful melding of international efforts to execute a massive transatlantic technology transfer from the United States to the United Kingdom (UK) of more than 10,000 technical drawings and manufacturing processes to build the Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (TADS/PNVS), the powerful targeting and day/night-vision system carried on the Apache helicopter. This transfer together with technologies from other members of the Apache Team contributed to this acclaimed international collaborative effort. The WAH-64 Apache team is comprised of Westland Helicopters Ltd., The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Rolls-Royce Turbomeca, Longbow International, Avimo Ltd., BAE SYSTEMS (Defence Systems), Ltd., and Thales Optronics. Westland Helicopters Ltd. became the UK Ministry of Defence's WAH-64 Apache helicopter prime contractor in early 1996. Westland Helicopters Ltd., initiated the transatlantic dialogue with U.S. subcontractor, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control-Orlando, that continues today.
The Lockheed Martin TADS/PNVS effort is one of the many elements that made the WAH-64 international cooperative effort a success. The unprecedented technology transfer between Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control-Orlando and the UK companies involved an extensive, no holds barred, conveyance of technical know-how, manufacturing processes, and management practices as well as significant, up-front investments in time and capital, said Bryan Butler, TADS/PNVS UK program director at Lockheed Martin. This was augmented by UK partner visits to Lockheed Martin's Orlando, Florida, facility for orientation in almost every technical discipline to disclose Lockheed Martin's day-to-day business activities to the UK companies. These procedures were subsequently adapted to the UK companies' operations and capabilities. This mirrored structural and operational approach ensured the seamless transfer of volumes of technological drawings, data, and know-how related to the manufacture of TADS/PNVS.
The first TADS/PNVS systems manufactured by the UK companies were shipped to Lockheed Martin for assembly and test in the Orlando facility in early 1998. All UK-manufactured hardware for TADS/PNVS performed without failure.
Currently, the UK companies manufacture and assemble complete TADS/PNVS systems for the UK contract. These TADS/PNVS systems are integrated onto the helicopter at the Westland facility in Yeovil prior to delivery to the UK Ministry of Defence.
The UK Apache Team began leaving its mark on the world of vertical flight with the first delivery of the WAH-64 in July 2000, just 2 weeks after its maiden flight. Final delivery of the contracted 67 helicopters for the UK Ministry of Defense is scheduled for 2003.
One of the most difficult challenges with international teaming is communications. This award is a testament to the dedication of each team member in effectively communicating ideas, plans, processes, and technical knowledge to ensure the success of the UK Apache Program commented Lou Karbiener, TADS/PNVS UK program manager at Lockheed Martin.
Initiated in 1944, the American Helicopter Society's prestigious awards program has recognized outstanding leaders of the vertical flight industry through the years. The Gruppo Agusta International Helicopter Fellowship Award, established in 1989, honors the memory of Paolo Bella vita, whose career at Gruppo Agusta was marked by his dedication to furthering international cooperation in the world of vertical flight.
For their exemplary achievement, the WAH-64 Apache Team received a replica of the statute of Pegasus, Greek mythology's flying horse.