BAE Systems Plc will build fighter-jet helmets featuring an augmented reality display and night-vision for the Royal Air Force as recent conflicts across the world spur the UK to modernize its armed forces.
(Bloomberg) — BAE Systems Plc will build fighter-jet helmets featuring an augmented reality display and night-vision for the Royal Air Force as recent conflicts across the world spur the UK to modernize its armed forces.
Under the £40 million ($49.9 million) contract, BAE will develop the Striker II Helmet Mounted Display, according to a statement Wednesday. The device features a night-vision setting, 3D audio reduction and a color display to identify allies and enemies projected on the pilot’s visor.
Defense firms such as BAE are ramping up their capabilities in the military and space sectors as security threats grow across the world. Security Minister Tom Tugendhat in July said the UK was facing increasing threats from foreign states and there had been attempts to jeopardize the British people, economy and democracy.
BAE is studying the business case for the Striker II helmets as it weighs the needs of the RAF and talks with other potential customers, Nigel Kidd, the defense firm’s product director for head-mounted displays, said at a media briefing at the firm’s Rochester, UK, facility in Kent, where the headgear is developed. BAE delivered around 1,000 Striker I’s to the RAF, he said.
Striker II, designed for the RAF’s Typhoon jets, was first unveiled in 2014 and has since been used as a prototype. The key advance is Striker II’s ability to switch from day to night vision because it provides a tactical advantage over opponents who aren’t well-equipped to operate at night, Andrew Mallery-Blythe, a Typhoon operational requirements manager and evaluator pilot at BAE, said in the briefing.
The core technology used in Striker II could also be built into space-related applications such as astronaut headgear, Kidd said.
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