This week at the Farnborough Airshow, BAE Systems showed off its latest Helmet-Mounted Display (HMD), the Striker II flight helmet. The unit not only provides digital, visor-projected night vision and tracking systems that are equivalent or better than current HMD systems, but it has also seen a weight reduction for greater safety and comfort.

The Striker II HMD is based on BAE’s Striker HMD system used in the Typhoon and Gripen fighters. BAE says that the Striker II is "platform agnostic" and integrates easily with a variety of platforms, including both digital and analog electronic displays.

The night vision system mounted inside the helmet makes the helmet lighter than previous units and lowers its center of gravity. This makes the helmet more comfortable (relatively) and puts less stress on the pilot’s head, neck, and shoulders resulting from the g-forces pulled during the tight turns that fighter planes are famous for. The system needs no manual configuration for day to night transitions and, along with the plane’s system and targeting displays, feeds into the integrated visor-projected system.

The high-resolution visor-projected system has a 40-degree binocular field of view with 1280x1024 resolution and an independent channel for each eye to provide 3D images. BAE says that the display has near-zero latency and is fully visible in day and night conditions.

In addition, the Striker II boasts new hybrid opto-inertial technology that constantly monitors the position of the pilot’s head even if optical tracking fails. So the plane’s computer always knows where the pilot is looking and can position symbols on the display accurately for high-precision target tracking and engagement.

"As the industry transitions from analogue to digital display solutions, Striker II brings a superior, fully digital capability to multiple platform types," says Joseph Senftle, vice president and general manager for Communications and Controls Solutions at BAE Systems. "Designed to address evolving mission requirements with advanced digital night vision technology, our new HMD was built to be 'future proof' and seamlessly adaptable to technology advancements in the years ahead."

Source: BAE Systems

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