BAE Systems launched a highly sophisticated helmet and support system for fighter pilots to help them ‘see’ through the aircraft body giving them vital advantage when it comes to split-second decision-making.The ‘Helmet Mounted Symbology System’ designed by BAE is the Eurofighter Typhoon’s latest weapon, not something slung under the wing, but a system with ‘brains’ that sits on the pilot’s head.
Using the new helmet system, the pilot can now look at multiple targets, lock-on to them, and then, by , priorities them. It’s a lightning-fast system to let the pilot look, lock-on, and fire, the BAE said in a statement.
'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,' said a senior BAE official.
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.
The new helmet system is expected to go into service with the UK’s Royal Air Force this year.