The press release issued by BAE Systems, announcing the Helmet Mounted Symbology System, calls it something out of Star Wars.
It says the system ‘lets the pilot see through the body of the aircraft’. This is a new in-helmet targeting system devised for the Eurofighter Typhoon. “Using the new helmet system, the pilot can now look at multiple targets, lock-on to them, and then, by voice-command, prioritize them. It’s a lightning-fast system to let the pilot look, lock-on, and fire,” says the company.
Apparently, this look, lock-on, fire can be done even when targets are ‘over the shoulder’ or ‘picked up by the radar which is directly underneath the floor of the aircraft’.
The helmet has a number of fixed sensors, which move in relation to the sensors on the aircraft as the pilot moves his head, ‘ensuring the aircraft knows exactly where and what he is looking at’.
The pilot’s visor gets data on speed, heading, height and positions of enemy aircraft or missiles.
The new helmet system is expected to go into service with the UK’s Royal Air Force this year.