LONDON, 10 Sept. 2009. Officials at the U.K. Ministry of Defense (MOD) placed the first order for a new generation of helmet-mounted displays developed by BAE Systems. The Royal navy will purchase 12 remote sighting systems incorporating BAE Systems' Q-Sight display, for its Lynx Mk8 helicopters. BAE Systems officials made the announcement this week at DSEi 2009, the Defense Systems and Equipment International Exhibition in London.
"Q-Sight makes aviators more effective in many situations, including degraded visual environments such as brown-out conditions," says Jim Garceau, vice president of defense avionics for BAE Systems. "Its lightweight design increases pilot comfort, and its wide field of view enables pilots to keep their heads up and eyes out of the cockpit while performing their missions. Q-Sight also provides important capabilities to other crew members, including door gunners and loadmasters."
The Q-Sight pilot display is part of the Gunner's Remote Sighting System (GRSS), a system that will allow the image from a machine gun-mounted thermal weapon sight to be displayed remotely on a see-through display mounted on the weapon operator's helmet. The system is compatible with standard night-vision goggles and, unlike other technologies, enables users to seamlessly switch between goggles and the thermal sight to acquire, track, and engage targets. Combining Q-Sight and the thermal sight will improve effectiveness and accuracy of shots on target, BAE Systems officials say.
The 12 Gunner Remote Sighting Systems will be delivered to the MOD by May 2010, with initial systems delivered at the end of this year for training use. Deployment of the equipment will be worldwide and provide a significant capability enhancement for maritime force protection, counter-piracy, and counter-narcotics operations.
Using patented technology to move light via holographic waveguides, the Q-Sight system displays a video image on a transparent screen approximately the thickness of a credit card. This technology eliminates the need for complex intermediate lenses that are heavy and create visual distortions.
The lightweight Q-Sight can easily be fitted to any standard helmet, providing plug-and-play capability that is compatible with existing and future sensor video and symbology sources and other helmet display technologies.