Striker II

Using optical sensors embedded in the aircraft, Striker II calculates the pilot’s exact head position and angle (Picture: BAE Systems).

A new smart helmet known as 'the world’s most advanced' is being developed by BAE Systems.

With head-tracking technology and integrated night vision camera, the Striker II aims to help pilots access more information than ever.

It builds on the already well-established Striker Head-Mounted Display (HMD), which has been used in combat on Typhoon and Gripen C/D aircraft for decades.

Mark Bowman, Director of Flight Communications and test pilot at BAE Systems, said: “Where air systems are getting more and more complex, we have to look at ways of imparting information to the pilot to help him make those very quick decisions.”

The ability to display colours, rather than just the traditional monochrome green, aims to facilitate the pilot.

It allows, for example, the ability to display the enemy in red and friendlies in blue, which could be a critical factor in the success of a mission. Mr Bowman added:

“By using shape and colour, we can impart information to the pilot.”

The digital night vision camera is incorporated into the helmet, enabling the Striker II to be used day and night, without the need for heavy and obtrusive night vision goggles.

Forces News reporter Ali Gibson has tried the helmet herself:

 

In addition, the Striker II will support picture-in-picture technology, displaying separate imagery to the side of the screen.

This is indispensable in situations where pilots are closing in on a target or surveying an area of interest.

Significantly lighter than current HMDs, the Striker II also aims to allow pilots to fly longer missions with reduced fatigue.

Striker II Helmet HMD
The Striker II incorporates night vision (Picture: BAE Systems).

The new HMD will also include a unique 3D audio capability, as well as active noise reduction.

The 3D audio will provide the pilot with full 360-degree audio, allowing them to hear the threat relevant to their position, while noise reduction will reduce airborne and acoustically transmitted noise.

Using optical sensors embedded in the aircraft, the Striker II will also calculate the pilot’s exact head position and angle.

This will provide accurate targeting information and symbology when the pilot moves their head, with ‘near zero’ latency. Mr Bowman added:

“This is technology for the future.”

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