Striker II helmet-mounted display. (BAE Systems)
FARNBOROUGH, ENGLAND — BAE Systems has launched a new helmet-mounted display that offers a night vision camera it claims will make night vision goggles “a thing of the past.”
The firm’s new Striker II helmet-mounted display, which it launched on Wednesday at the Farnborough International Airshow, updates its earlier Striker model, which is used by Eurofighter and Gripen pilots.
Whereas Striker users must put on night vision goggles at night, the fully digital Striker II features a night vision camera in the center of the helmet, above the eyes, which transmits imagery onto the inside of the visor, mixing it with projected data.
“We have reached the tipping point between night vision goggles and night vision cameras,” said Chris Colston, BAE’s business development director for Electronic Systems.
The camera, the ISIE-11, is supplied by Intevac Photonics, which Colston said was already in use with the US Army, offers a resolution of 1,600 x 1,200 pixels, and does not produce the halos seen with goggles or the bright points known as scintillations, he added.
BAE test pilot Mark Bowman said that removing heavy goggles from the equation was a blessing for pilots experiencing 9G’s on the face. The helmet is platform agnostic and free of ITAR trade restrictions, said Colston.
BAE said the new helmet also offered upgraded tracking that ensures the pilot’s head and position and the aircraft’s computer are constantly in sync with no delay, allowing for more accurate position of data on the visor. ■