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Letterkenny begins servicing Army's Arrowhead system

January 20, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - It might sound like a technological leap backward, but Letterkenny Army Depot, in partnership with Lockheed Martin, earlier this month began servicing the Arrowhead, which actually is one of the latest pieces of U.S. Army military technology.

The Arrowhead Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/ Pilot's Night Vision Sensor, or M-TADS/PNVS in Defense Department parlance, is the system of sensors and cameras mounted in the chin turret of AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. The system has been in operation since 2005, and assists the crew in piloting the aircraft and seeking out targets day or night and in all weather conditions.

The repair work is being done at the TADS/PNVS Special Repair Activity that Lockheed Martin moved from North Carolina to the depot in late 2005, according to a depot press release. The decision by the defense contractor to move the work resulted from discussions between the company and the depot after the Pennsylvania Letterkenny Business Opportunity Showcase in June 2006, according to the release.

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"This is new workload and we hope it expands in the future," depot spokesman Alan Loessy said.

Two employees from the depot and two from Lockheed Martin currently are assigned to test and repair the aviation electronics for the Arrowhead, Loessy said.

"The investment illustrates Lockheed Martin's commitment to enhance our partnership with Letterkenny Army Depot," said Tom Simmons, vice president of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. Lockheed invested $1.5 million to the repair facility when it moved to the depot, according to the release.

Letterkenny is Franklin County's largest employer, with approximately 2,800 federal and contract employees, Loessy said.

Other depot missions include servicing ground support equipment for the Patriot missile system; inspection of tactical missile systems; repairing and upgrading Humvees as well as equipping those vehicles for special forces units; servicing Force Provider mobile kitchens; and ammunition storage.

The depot also repairs military generators, having opened a satellite facility in Germany recently, Loessy said.

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