BAE SYSTEMS2003-06-24 08:46:14


Saab Aerospace & BAE SYSTEMS today signed an agreement for a new Integrated Helmet Mounted Display System (IHMD) for the Gripen. The agreement will enable the IHMD to be integrated into the Gripen fighters and be delivered to South Africa from 2007.

The new helmet enables the pilot to view, lock and fire on targets using the helmet display. The helmet allows greater situation awareness, and enables the pilot to react more quickly than has previously been possible. The helmet system will be redesigned due to the difference in size between the Gripen and the Eurofighter. The first tests on the new helmet will be conducted in 2005 and deliveries to South Africa will begin in 2007.

BAE SYSTEMS, in partnership with South Africa's Cumulus, has developed the system capability. Integration of the technology has been made possible under offset agreement connected to Saab-BAE SYSTEMS with the South Africa's Government Hawk and Gripen procurement.

The helmet is a further development and refinement of the Striker helmet developed for the Eurofighter by BAE SYSTEMS. The Gripen Helmet System will now be marketed under the name of Cobra.

Lord Bach, Minister of State Defence Procurement said "This three way partnership between defence companies in the UK, Sweden and South Africa is another milestone on the road to greater co-operation between our defence industries. This kind of partnership delivers real technological and economic benefits to our countries.�

"Saab has chosen the best technology available. Together with our partners from BAE SYSTEMS, we will develop this cutting edge system,� said Johan Lehander, Head of Gripen at Saab Aerospace. "The agreement is a further sign of the strong cooperation between Sweden's and Britain's defense industry on Gripen.�

IHMD is currently available as an option in the export version of the Gripen and South Africa is the first customer to order the system.

"South African pilots at Saab have tested the helmet and are very pleased with it. I think that in the future all our customers will want the system, as it provides such a clear edge in air combat. Sweden is currently evaluating the system and we are looking forward to a tendering request later this year.� Johan Lehander concludes.

Sue Wood, BAE SYSTEMS Avionic Systems Managing Director said "Gripen's selection is a further indication of BAE SYSTEMS leadership in integrated helmet technologies. We are delighted to be working with Saab and our partners Cumulus on the Gripen variant.�

For more information contact:
Warwick House
Po Box 87
Farnborough Aerospace Centre
GU14 6YU
United Kingdom
Tel:     + 44 1252 373232
Fax:     + 44 1252 383000



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