Posted 17 July 2018
Raytheon will design, develop and manufacture the projector for BAE Systems' Digital Light Engine (DLE) Head-Up Display (HUD) on the F-16 Fighting Falcon for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) armed forces.
The digital HUD upgrade will integrate seamlessly into the F-16's existing HUD space, requiring no changes to the aircraft, cabling or computing.
HUDs are located immediately in front of the pilot's line of sight and combine real-time mission critical information with the outside world view. BAE Systems' new DLE is an electro-optic upgrade to traditional analog HUDs, replacing conventional cathode ray tube devices.
"As the technology shifts from analog to digital, Raytheon is applying its decades of expertise in digital microdisplay technologies for HUD applications," said Wolf Glage, vice president of engineering at Raytheon ELCAN Optical Technologies, the source for the projector. "Our solution has its roots in mature rear projection technology that dates back to the 1990s."
BAE Systems' HUD technology can be found in modern fighters, military trainers and business jets. Earlier this year, BAE Systems announced it was selected by Lockheed Martin to upgrade the HUDs across the UAE's F-16 fleet.
"Digitising the HUD helps our customers extend the service life of their fleets. By removing the conventional analog system, we're able to increase the HUD's reliability and decrease obsolescence issues, which all lead to lower lifecycle costs," said Andy Humphries, director of Advanced Head-up Displays at BAE Systems. "This is the second time we've selected Raytheon to provide the projector for our DLE HUD, which is a reflection of our positive working relationship and Raytheon's expertise in precision optics."
Raytheon is a leader in the design and manufacturing of precision optical systems. Development of the DLE projector draws on past experience in developing digital projection systems for both military and commercial applications. Deliveries begin early next year.
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