BAE Systems has begun trialling the Striker II – its next-generation, most advanced fighter pilot helmet ever. It will feature a brand new helmet-mounted display (HMD) that will deliver digital night vision and the latest target tracking technology, which will look to replace traditional night vision goggles.
"Striker II has a high-definition, lightweight night vision camera which translates information and displays it on the helmet's visor. This removes the need for heavy night vision goggles which increase g-force pressures on the head and neck, limiting the pilot's manoeuvrability in the cockpit," said Peter Kosogorin, test pilot for BAE Systems."The helmet provides a clear and accurate visual display and a seamless transition from day to night, eliminating the need to manually configure and adjust night vision goggles."
Mark Bowen, chief test pilot, calls the helmet an evolution in technology and explains that previously pilots would be restricted by having to put night vision in front of the eyes. Now with a night vision camera built into the helmet it allows the pilot a clearer field of view and the ability to see through the aircraft with digital information displayed on the visor.
The tracking system is also one of the most sophisticated ever with a 40 degree field of view and the pilot's head position and computer system continuously in sync without lag when tracking targets and positioning them on to the visor – something older HMDs have suffered from. The pilot will be able to see a view of terrain and all obstacles in the flight path even if visibility is low outside the aircraft with vital precision and speed.
The digital night vision capability is being put through a series of night flight trials in Typhoon aircraft from its Military Air & Information business in Warton, Lancashire.