SOFEX 2014

Heads-up, eyes-out

06 May 2014

A helmet-mounted display system designed to provide soldiers and Special Forces personnel with more real-time visual data than ever before is exceeding expectations in field testing. The Q-Warrior, the latest version of BAE Systems’ helmet-mounted display technology, looks like a fighter pilot’s head-up display 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.

Paul Wright, Soldier Systems’ business development lead, and Mark Wilkins, project technical lead for Q-Warrior, explain: “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.

“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. This is likely to be within non-traditional military units with reconnaissance roles, such as forward air controllers/ joint tactical aircraft controllers or with Special Forces during counter-terrorist tasks. The next level of adoption could be light role troops such as airborne forces or marines.”

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.

(228 words)