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BAE to Supply UAE Armed Forces Aircraft with Head-Up Displays

Photonics Spectra
May 2018
ROCHESTER, England — Head-up display (HUD) developer BAE Systems PLC has been selected by Lockheed Martin to modernize HUDs on F-16 aircraft for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces, replacing the fleet’s analog system with advanced digital technology.

BAE Systems will modernize head-up displays on F-16 aircraft for the United Arab Emirates, using the company’s Digital Light Engine technology. Courtesy of BAE Systems.
BAE Systems will modernize head-up displays on F-16 aircraft for the United Arab Emirates, using the company’s Digital Light Engine technology. Courtesy of BAE Systems.

BAE Systems will use its cutting-edge Digital Light Engine (DLE) technology to implement a HUD upgrade that integrates seamlessly into the F-16’s existing HUD space, requiring no changes to the aircraft, cabling, or computing. The advancement will remove the outdated cathode-ray tube image source and replace it with a digital projector. The HUD, which sits directly in a pilot’s line of sight, is a see-through display that presents real-time, flight-critical information without obstructing the pilot’s view of the outside world.

“To the naked eye, the pilot sees no difference in performance when our DLE HUD is installed,” said Andy Humphries, director of advanced displays at BAE Systems. “It retains the existing optics, video camera and control panel. The real difference is the significant cost savings our customer will experience over the product’s life cycle as a result of reduced maintenance and spares requirements.”

The fully digital system has the potential to reduce life-cycle costs by 20 percent and offers at least four times the reliability of legacy analog systems. The DLE HUD features high-resolution symbology that is viewable under any flight condition, and it is designed to accommodate future advancements in symbology and video.

In 2017, the DLE technology was selected to modernize the F-22 HUD for the U.S. Air Force. The company provided the original analog HUDs for both the F-16 and F-22 aircraft.

BAE Systems is a defense, security, and aerospace company.

BusinessBAE SystemsLockheed Martinhead-up displayDisplaysF-16United Arab EmiratesArmed ForcespartnershipsEuropelight speed

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