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Typhoon fighter program a boon for British companies
by Richard Tomkins
London (UPI) Jul 16, 2013

Night vision, tracking capabilities improved on pilot helmets
Arlington, Va. (UPI) Jul 16, 2013 - A new combat helmet for pilots with improved night vision and target tracking capabilities has been introduced by BAE Systems.

The helmet system -- the Striker II Helmet-Mounted Display -- builds upon an earlier helmet model and its technologies are integrated within a visor system.

"As the industry transitions from analogue to digital display solutions, Striker II brings a superior, fully digital capability to multiple platform types," said Joseph Senftle, vice president and general manager for Communications and Controls Solutions at BAE Systems. "Designed to address evolving mission requirements with advanced digital night vision technology, our new HMD was built to be 'future proof' and seamlessly adaptable to technology advancements in the years ahead."

BAE Systems is comprised of a high performance digital night vision camera inside the helmet. The integration reduces g-force effects on the pilot's head. Also included is a binocular visor-projected, which integrates a center-mounted ISIE-11 sensor based on Intevac Photonics' patented advanced imaging sensor technology.

The product's tracking system, which uses a hybrid opto-inertial technology, ensures the pilot's exact head position and the aircraft computer system are continuously synchronized.

"The results are high-precision target tracking and engagement as well as superior situational awareness and mission effectiveness," the company said.

MC-27J completes first phase of ground, flight testing
Arlington, Va. (UPI) Jul 16, 2013 - A fully configured MC-27J multi-mission tactical aircraft has completed the first phase of ground and flight testing with the Italian Air Force.

ATK of the United States and Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi, builder of the aircraft, said the testing demonstrated the accuracy of ATK's GAU-23 30mm cannon, which is used on a roll-on/roll-off pallet system.

"The completion of successful testing with the Italian Air Force further validates the capabilities of the RORO gun and mission systems and demonstrates that the program is ready for fielding," the companies said. "This testing builds on previous gun accuracy flight tests done with the MC-27J at Eglin AFB (Fla.) in 2013 and will provide the aircraft with a vital capability and greater mission flexibility at an affordable cost."

The MC-27J Pretorian is a twin-engine turboprop aircraft that can be used as a transport and/or gunship. In addition to the ATK cannon, it can fire Hellfire missiles and precision-guided munitions. The aircraft is a variant of the C-27J Spartan transport plane.

ATK and Alenia Aermacchi in 2012 announced their intent to jointly develop and market the MC-27J.

The aircraft has a cruise speed of 374 miles per hour and a range of 1,000 miles with a 22,000 pound payload.

The Eurofighter Typhoon consortium is touting the benefits of the plane's production to supply chain companies in Britain.

According to data disclosed, the Typhoon program spent more than $1.1 billion with British supply chain companies last year.

Nearly $368 million made its way to the East Midlands region, where supplier Selex is located, while an equal amount was spent in the country's South West region, with a Selex facility and Rolls-Royce taking the lion's share.

"From Leith in Scotland to Christchurch on the South Coast and Cambridge in the east right out to Tewkesbury in the South West, the programme is supporting highly-skilled people which make our supply chain tick," said Chris Boardman, BAE's Military Air and Information managing director.

"We recognize the value these people bring to our business and work closely with them to help them invest in their people and technology.

BAE Systems is a member of the consortium building the multi-role fighter, which is flown by Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain and others. Also members of the consortium are the Airbus Group and Alenia Aermacchi.

CAE of Canada modernizing NATO flight simulators
Farnborough, England (UPI) Jul 16, 2013 - Canadian simulator-based training systems company CAE is to conduct a major modernization of NATO's E-3A Sentry training devices.

The contract for the work was signed this week with the NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control Program Management Organization, or NAPMO, at the Farnborough International Airshow in Britain.

"The E-3A flight simulators help provide safe and cost-effective training for the 16 nations involved in the multi-national NATO E-3A Component," said Ian Bell, CAE's vice president and business leader -- Europe. "CAE has supported the training of NATO E-3A aircrews for more than 30 years, and we're pleased to extend this support with another major modernization effort program for the E-3A training devices."

The E-3A is an early warning and command-and-control aircraft built by Boeing. They aircraft are in the process of upgrading with advanced avionics and other systems.

CAE said its work on the simulators will be completed by 2018.

The NATO E-3A flight deck simulator was designed and manufactured by CAE and entered service in 1982.

The value of the contract from NAPMO was not disclosed.


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