Thu, Jan 06, 2011
Highly Sophisticated Helmet And Support System That Lets The
Pilot 'See' Through The Body Of The Aircraft
Its manufacturer says it looks and performs like something
out of "Star Wars". And for the fast-jet fighter pilots of the
future - it could just make the difference between life and
The Eurofighter Typhoon's latest weapon is not something slung
under the wing - but a system with 'brains' that sits on the
The 'Helmet Mounted Symbology System' designed by BAE Systems,
is a highly sophisticated helmet and support system that lets the
pilot 'see' through the body of the aircraft, giving him a vital
advantage when it comes to split-second decision-making.
Using the new helmet system, the pilot can now look at multiple
targets, lock-on to them, and then, by voice-command, prioritise
them. It's a lightning-fast system to let the pilot look, lock-on,
and fire.The pilot can even do this when looking at targets over
the shoulder - or at targets picked up by the radar which is
directly underneath the floor of the aircraft.This 'look and shoot'
capability, married to a super-wide field of view gives the Typhoon
pilot a 24hour all-weather field of vision.
The helmet works by having a number of fixed sensors around the
cockpit area. As the pilot moves his head, the sensors on his
helmet move in relation to the sensors on the aircraft ensuring the
aircraft knows exactly where and what he is looking at. Imagery
projected onto the pilot's visor gives, amongst other information,
speed, heading and height - and crucially, it also gives the
precise position of any enemy aircraft or missiles. The imagery,
which remains stable and accurate at all viewing angles, means the
pilot can make rapid decisions without ever having to take his eyes
off the target.
"This is a major advance in terms of combat capability and is
something that gives Typhoon pilots a significant advantage when it
comes to air combat." said BAE Systems Chief Test Pilot Mark
Bowman. "There is no doubt in my mind that the Eurofighter Typhoon
leads the world in terms of this kind of capability - and this is
something that all who have worked on the system can feel extremely
proud of. It is a major advance in aviation capability."
The new helmet system is expected to go into service with the
UK's Royal Air Force this year.
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