Posted by John McHale
LONDON, 11 Jan. 2011. The Helmet-Mounted Symbology System designed by BAE Systems, is a helmet and support system that lets the pilot see through the body of the aircraft, giving him a vital advantage when it comes to split-second decision-making. Using the new helmet system, the pilot can now look at multiple targets, lock-on to them, and then, by voice-command, prioritize them. The pilot can even do this when looking at targets over the shoulder -- or at targets picked up by the radar which is directly underneath the floor of the aircraft.
This look and shoot capability, married to a super-wide field of view gives the Typhoon pilot a 24-hour, all-weather field of vision, BAE Systems officials say.
The helmet works by having a number of fixed sensors around the cockpit area. As the pilot moves his head, the sensors on his helmet move in relation to the sensors on the aircraft ensuring the aircraft knows exactly where and what he is looking at.
Imagery projected onto the pilot's visor gives, amongst other information, speed, heading, and height, as well as providing the precise position of any enemy aircraft or missiles. The imagery, which remains stable and accurate at all viewing angles, means the pilot can make rapid decisions without ever having to take his eyes off the target.
"This is a major advance in terms of combat capability and is something that gives Typhoon pilots a significant advantage when it comes to air combat," says Mark Bowman, chief test pilot for BAE Systems. "There is no doubt in my mind that the Eurofighter Typhoon leads the world in terms of this kind of capability -- and this is something that all who have worked on the system can feel extremely proud of. It is a major advance in aviation capability."
The new helmet system is expected to go into service with England's Royal air force this year.