ROCHESTER, U.K., 12 April 2005. BAE Systems has delivered to Saab AB the first fully functional Gripen helmet-mounted display system, including a high-speed optical head tracker.
The second (B) development model helmet will be installed in the Gripen simulator in Linkoping, Sweden, for verification and validation of the software and integration tests with the interfacing computer systems. Full-scale production is anticipated to begin by mid-2006, with delivery to Saab for integration into the Gripen for the South African Air Force.
A variant of the helmet system employing state-of-the-art digital displays is under development as an alternate helmet design for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. This technology also has been adapted for rotary-wing applications and is in flight test in the U.K. as part of the Condor II program.
The Gripen helmet display system builds on the technology now being delivered on the Eurofighter Typhoon, offering the pilot binocular day/night, 360-degree visibility in a lightweight, comfortable package. The system enables enhanced operational capability with reduced workload by displaying real-time information, such as flight parameters, sensor data, target cueing, and weapon status via intelligent sensors triggered by the pilot's head motion onto the binocular visor. The design provides optimum comfort and protection to the pilot throughout the flight envelope, even in aggressive high-"g"' maneuvers.
This event follows the May 2004 first flight of the mechanical Gripen helmet. BAE Systems received the Gripen helmet contract in 2003 and has been developing the system in close cooperation with Saab AB and partners including Denel Optronics of South Africa. Denel led the development of the electronics unit that incorporates a unique optical head tracker.
BAE Systems North America is one of America's foremost national security, aerospace, and information systems companies. It is a leading provider of electronic and information-based systems and knowledge-based solutions that meet its customers' mission effectiveness and operational safety needs. BAE Systems North America employs more than 30,000 people at sites across the United States and the United Kingdom and generates more than $5 billion in annual sales. For more information, see www.baesystems.com or www.na.baesystems.com/platformsolutions.
Saab is one of the world's leading high-technology companies, with its main operations focusing on defense, aviation, and space. The group covers a broad spectrum of competence and capabilities in systems integration. For more information, see www.saab.se.
The supersonic, multi-role/swing-role Gripen fighter aircraft is in operational service today. In service with the Swedish Air Force since 1997, it also will equip the South African, Hungarian, and Czech Air Forces. For more information, see www.gripen.com.