The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has invested £40 million in developing a state-of-the-art fighter jet helmet known as Striker II for pilots within the Typhoon fleet.
This advanced helmet displays all mission-critical data in colour on a pilot’s visor, providing enhanced situational awareness. The helmet offers an all-digital night vision system, reduced noise, unparalleled comfort, and can be upgraded to meet new battlespace demands.
These features are critical in what can be a highly complex and pressurised environment. BAE Systems, under the £40 million contract, is developing the helmet’s capabilities to produce a set of assets for testing at their combat air site in Warton, Lancashire.
James Cartlidge, Minister for Defence Procurement said: “Striker II helmets boast cutting-edge displays of data and are adaptable to the increasing demands of battlespaces. This investment will support the development of state-of-the-art equipment for future aviators, whilst also backing hundreds of highly-skilled jobs.”
The helmet will further enhance ongoing upgrades to the Typhoon, including the world-class ECRS Mk2 radar, to ensure the aircraft can continue its critical role in providing round-the-clock defence and security. Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the MoD’s procurement arm, placed the contract, which creates and sustains highly-skilled jobs at BAE Systems’ sites in Kent, where the helmet is manufactured, and at Warton.
Air Cdre Nick Lowe, Assistant Chief of Staff Combat Air in the RAF said: “This contract demonstrates the maturity and progress of the initial design solution for Striker II. It not only meets the UK’s safety requirements by offering high levels of protection and survivability, it expands the situational awareness of the pilot and would increase Typhoon’s lethality. It is a major evolution of Striker I and by using the existing interfaces with the aircraft it reduces both risk and the cost of future integration.”
The Typhoon is a highly agile, multi-role combat aircraft used in all of the RAF’s current operations and is capable of being deployed for the full spectrum of air operations, including air policing, peace support, and high-intensity conflict. These jets are always ready to respond to threats at a moment’s notice to defend UK airspace.
Air Vice-Marshal Phil Brooker, Director Combat Air at DE&S said: “Striker II is a cutting-edge programme supporting more than 200 highly skilled roles at BAES as well as further specialised roles in the UK supply chain. We look forward to continuing to work closely with our partners to ensure we provide the RAF war-fighter with the edge to protect the nation.”
In total, the Eurofighter Typhoon programme sustains more than 20,800 jobs across the UK economy.