HENSOLDT South Africa, a leading provider of defence and security electronics, is collaborating with BAE Systems, a global defence and aerospace company, on the development of the Striker II helmet-mounted display (HMD) for the Royal Air Force’s Typhoon fighter jets.
The Striker II HMD is a state-of-the-art system that combines an all-digital night vision system, a daylight-readable colour display, and an augmented reality interface that overlays mission-critical data onto the pilot’s helmet visor. The system also features next-generation night vision technology, an optional 3D audio system, and a battle-proven target tracking technology.
The Striker II HMD is designed to enhance the pilot’s situational awareness, reduce the workload, and improve the performance and survivability of the Typhoon aircraft. The system allows the pilot to see through the body of the aircraft, using high-resolution sensor systems, and displays accurate targeting information and symbology, with near-zero latency, no matter where the pilot is looking.
HENSOLDT South Africa is a key partner in the Striker II HMD project, supplying the advanced optic sensors for the helmet and developing the intelligent tracking system that precisely identifies the pilot’s focal point. The company is also responsible for the development of the inertial storage driver unit (ISDU), the electronic component that provides the helmet’s ‘intelligence’. The ISDU uses sophisticated algorithms to convert data from various sources into intelligible symbology that is displayed on the pilot’s visor.
The Striker II HMD project builds on the successful collaboration between HENSOLDT South Africa and BAE Systems, who have previously worked together on the development of the Striker I HMD, which is used on the Typhoon and Gripen aircraft. The Striker I/II HMD use an optical helmet tracking system developed by HENSOLDT’s Optronics business in South Africa.
The Striker II HMD project was awarded to BAE Systems by the UK Ministry of Defence in September 2023, with a contract value of £40 million. The project is expected to generate substantial foreign direct investment for HENSOLDT South Africa, as well as support highly skilled jobs at its Irene site in South Africa, where 400 people are employed.
Deon Olivier, Chief Executive of HENSOLDT’s Optronics business in South Africa, said: “HENSOLDT is proud to bolster BAE Systems’ efforts to ensure that the Striker’s capabilities remain at the forefront of innovation. We are excited to be part of this project that will deliver a world-class helmet-mounted display system for the Royal Air Force’s Typhoon fleet.” The Striker II HMD is expected to be delivered to the Royal Air Force in 2024 and will provide the Typhoon pilots with a significant operational advantage over their adversaries.
Hensoldt South Africa is the Group’s largest industrial base outside of Europe and one of the largest defence and security electronics companies in South Africa. It exports its solutions to more than 45 countries across the world, and these range from electronic warfare and optronics, spectrum monitoring and security solutions, to radar, IFF and datalinks. The company also offers the Astus unmanned aerial vehicle and recently launched its Quadome radar series, for land and sea applications.
Meanwhile, has recently announced the opening of its new offices in Stellenbosch, South Africa, which will serve as the hub of its spectrum management operations. The new offices, which were inaugurated on 16 November, are located in the vibrant Stellenbosch area, close to Stellenbosch University, one of the country’s top academic institutions. The offices feature modern facilities and equipment, as well as a dynamic training space for Hensoldt South Africa’s clients