BAE Systems has secured a £40m contract with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to develop its Striker II Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) for the RAF Typhoon fleet.

The contract will create and sustain more than 200 highly-skilled jobs at BAE Systems’ sites in Kent and Lancashire working directly on the Striker II programme.

Making the announcement at DSEI 2023 in London, Chris Moon, UK capability director at BAE Systems’ air sector, outlined capabilities of the HMD. “There are few pieces of equipment more important and personal than the helmet for fighter pilots,” he explained.

“In an operational environment, the difference between winning and losing can be fractions of a second. The Striker II projects missions and flight data right onto the helmet’s visor, enabling the pilot to remain heads up and eyes out of the cockpit at all times, improving operational awareness and tactical capabilities,” he added.

Making better fighter pilots

Upgrades to the Striker II helmet include integrated night vision capabilities which remove the need for cumbersome night vision goggles and an improved head tracking system which removes imagery lag.

“The helmet also features a full colour display and HD resolution, which enables more capability for the pilot in the way they use the display and the speed in which they can make decisions,” Moon added.

Also speaking at the official announcement was Andy Mallery-Blythe, Typhoon operational requirements manager, BAE Systems’ air sector, who has been involved in testing the HMD since 2017. “The HMD meets the most stringent list of requirements of any helmet in the world,” he said. “The helmet’s technology and capabilities saves a huge amount of time in the cockpit, which can be a real tactical benefit. The Striker II will make better fighter pilots of the future.”

The Striker II will have full integration into the RAF Typhoon fleet in the latter half of this decade.

Image: The Striker II helmet, designed and developed by BAE Systems, worn by chief test pilot Mark Bowman in the cockpit of a Eurofighter Typhoon at Warton, Lancashire.

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