Continuing to meet operational demand
BAE Systems designs, manufactures, upgrades and supports combat and trainer aircraft for customers around the world, and supply electronics across a range of military and commercial aircraft, as well as developing the next-generation of Unmanned Air Systems (UAS).
Eurofighter TYPHOON is one of the most advanced multi-role aircraft available today, in operational use around the globe and capable of being deployed in the full spectrum of air operations, including air policing, close air support and high intensity conflict. Eurofighter TYPHOON’s potent combination of air superiority and combat-proven air-to-surface capabilities make it the backbone of several major air forces around the world. Already in operation with five air forces across Europe and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the first aircraft have recently been delivered to the Sultanate of Oman and TYPHOON has also been chosen by the State of Kuwait. With a significant programme of upgrades already on contract and a long future capability path being defined, Eurofighter TYPHOON will remain at the leading edge of capability for decades to come. The next stage of the aircraft’s enhancement programme is the Royal Air Force’s Project Centurion. The first part of which is complete and entering service with the Royal Air Force (RAF). This includes the METEOR missile, offering extreme beyond visual range air-to-air capability and the deep attack Storm SHADOW air-to-surface weapon. The second part integrates the low-collateral, precision strike BRIMSTONE weapon which along with significant avionics enhancements ensures that Eurofighter TYPHOON will continue to meet operational demand.
The Eurofighter TYPHOON sensor fusion demonstration illustrates the intelligent fusion between a range of cutting edge sensors and systems on board the aircraft, providing an insight into the capabilities which will be delivered as part of Project Centurion for the RAF. The demonstration also offers an insight beyond Project Centurion, and looks at some of the leading edge technologies which the TYPHOON programme will seek to integrate, including:
E-Scan radar – Further enhancing the aircraft’s offensive and defensive capabilities. The power, sensitivity and wide field of regard of the CAPTOR-E radar increases Eurofighter TYPHOON’s lethality and survivability offering improved detection and combat identification of air and surface targets at greater ranges. The concurrent improvements in intelligent sensor management will decrease pilot workload providing even greater tactical advantage and flexibility.
STRIKER II helmet – A fully-digital colour Helmet Mounted Display system which builds on decades of combat-proven experience by BAE Systems to provide today’s fast jet pilot with unrivalled situational awareness and flexible weapons’ cueing night and day. TYPHOON’s weapon system is optimised to exploit STRIKER II’s capabilities across all roles including Close Air Support and Air Combat. STRIKER II can integrate a night vision camera into the helmet and removes performance limitations associated with existing night vision goggles.
SPEAR surface attack weapon – TYPHOON will carry up to 12 of these compact precision strike stand-off missiles, allowing engagement of fixed, static and moving targets at range, both on land and at sea. Fitted with the latest generation multi-sensor seeker, SPEAR is able to operate in all combat conditions.
The Human Machine Interface (HMI) in current generation cockpits is largely dominated by the physical layout of displays and controls. As new capabilities such as sensors and weapons are added to the platform, the challenge has been to manage the additional information available within the cockpit and the complexity of the decisions to be made. BAE Systems is envisaging a wearable VR cockpit concept for future combat aircraft with limited or no hardwired controls or displays. The company is fully exploiting the use of flexible HMI technologies such as helmet-based displays and flexible multimodal control technologies including voice, gesture, touch and eye tracking, to provide a fully upgradable, adaptable and customisable interface. Our engineers are using VR to visualise the evolution of cockpit technology from the present day into a virtual reality cockpit concept that will meet customers’ requirements for affordable upgradable products that deliver operational advantage.
BAE Systems recognises that the environment within which combat air forces must operate will continue to be volatile and unpredictable. The UK Future Combat Air Systems (FCAS) Technology Initiative is exploring the potential solutions (manned and unmanned) to operate in this future battlespace. Success in this environment will require co-operative operations and communications between all the ‘players’ and BAE Systems is exploring a range of options to meet this need.
This demonstration visualises the potential operational utility and interoperability of an Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS), similar to that being envisaged for the France-UK UCAS demonstrator programme, in co-operation with manned platforms such as TYPHOON and other assets during a typical mission. This showcases the capabilities of BAE Systems Multi System Integration Facility (MSIF) and highlights the importance of an interconnected battlespace to delivering Operational effect.
www.monch.com brings together key developments from the show. For more information please see MILITARY TECHNOLOGY #9/2017, available at the show on the Mönch stand S2-165; and frequently check back for more NEWS FROM THE FLOOR.