The Q-Warrior™- the latest iteration of BAE Systems helmet-mounted display technology, looks a bit like an Apache pilot’s helmet but has been specially designed for the soldier who needs unique capabilities, such as identifying hostile and non-hostile forces, as well as coordinating small unit actions.
The helmet mounted display system is designed to provide soldiers and Special Forces personnel with more real-time visual data than ever before, and is allegedly exceeding expectations in field testing with US military researchers.
Designed and built by engineers at BAE’s Electronic Systems business in Rochester, Kent, the system significantly increases situational awareness capabilities for the ‘dismounted soldier’ – in other words military personnel operating out of their vehicles. Q-Warrior™ introduces a high transmission and high luminance see-through display which incorporates a high-resolution colour, collimated display to allow the use of symbols and video to blend intuitively with the user’s view of the world. Waypoints, other points of interest and targets can all be displayed overlaid on the real view of what’s actually out there.
Paul Wright, Soldier Systems’ Business Development Lead at BAE Systems’ Electronic Systems in Rochester, Kent, said these are only some of the innovations which have been incorporated into the new display. “Q-Warrior™ increases the user’s situational awareness by providing the potential to display “eyes-out” information to the user, including textual information, warnings and threats,” he said. “Other key features include enhanced night vision, waypoints and routing information, and the ability to track both personnel and assets.
“The biggest demand, in the short term at least, will be in roles where the early adoption of situational awareness technology offers a defined advantage,” added Mr Wright. “This is likely to be within non-traditional military units with reconnaissance roles, such as Forward Air Controllers/Joint Tactical Aircraft Controllers (JTACS) or with Special Forces during counter terrorist tasks. The next level of adoption could be light role troops such as airborne forces or marines, where technical systems and aggression help to overcome their lighter equipment.”
Q-Warrior™ also features a large eye-motion box to allow the soldier to make relatively large movements of his or her helmet while continuing to maintain his view of the display.
Although it is expected that Q-Warrior™ will initially be employed at the section commander level, the technology could become an essential but standard issue piece of kit for every soldier.
The Q-Warrior™ builds upon technologies developed for BAE’s Q-Sight® range of display systems.
(click on the image above to watch a product overview video)