EADS Defence & Security (DS) has delivered its 1000th digital map generator system to BAe Systems for use in the Eurofighter. Map systems support helicopter and aircraft pilots by showing flight data and potential threats on digital maps.
“Thanks to the many years that our map generators have been used in combat aircraft and military helicopters, we are very well aware of the importance of a clear general presentation of map information during a mission,” points out Bernd Wenzler, CEO of Defence Electronics, an integrated activity of DS. “This experience helps us to adapt the map systems to the pilots’ needs.”
The digital map generator is part of a product family of navigation and tactical information systems which Defence Electronics has developed for many different types of military aircraft. It allows coloured topographic maps to be displayed in real time and data specific to the mission to be superimposed over them. This means that the pilots of aircraft and helicopters are given an instrument inside the cockpit, which allows them to quickly and exactly determine their position, their flight path and any threats during a mission and to react accordingly. Moreover, the map data enables special information relevant to the flight such as on flight corridors or approach and departure data to be presented in the display. A further benefit for the pilots is the automatic superimposition of tactical information.
Apart from the Eurofighter and Tornado, digital map generators are used in helicopters of various types and makes. Special mention should be made of the EuroGrid system for the military helicopters of the German Armed Forces. EuroGrid has been specifically designed to meet the requirements placed on helicopters, significantly reducing the workload of the pilots. These systems are being successfully used in the German, French and Australian Tiger variants as well as in the German NH90 helicopter.
Deliveries as of today include more than 400 units for the Eurofighter and Tornado combat aircraft, more than 300 units for the Tiger and NH90 military helicopters, more than 200 units for helicopters used by private and public organisations and eleven DMGS for the A400M military transport aircraft. In total, 1,000 map generators are currently under contract.