Military aircrafts operate in tense and degraded visual environments. Mission effectiveness requires complete attention and proactive measures from pilots and crews, and therefore recent avionics advancements intend are aimed at providing highest degree of situational awareness to them.
Fight jet Pilots across the globe are often equipped with Heads-up/augmented-reality/ helmet-mounted displays to project critical information directly into the pilot’s line of sight. Helicopter crews are provided with heads-down displays which can be programmed with speech recognition/resistive touch.
Many military aircraft avionics systems rely on COTS (Commercial off the shelf) components for cost savings and convenience. But in future there may be a departure we may see a departure from the COTS model to military off-the-shelf (MOTS) model where suppliers will offer two different product lines for commercial and military.
Ansys and L3Harris Technologies are working with the U.S. Army (CCDC) Aviation & Missile Center (AvMC) to prepone the use of Future Airborne Capabilities Environment (FACE) technical standard in military cockpit displays.
Northrop Grumman supplied digital cockpit upgrades to the integrated avionics suite for the U.S. Army’s UH-60V Black Hawk have shown a 3X improvement in productivity for model-based software development as compared to traditional manual coding.
The next major shift in military helicopter avionics will be from piloting to mission management. Avionics manufacturers are also looking at various ways for Pilot to transition in the middle of the flight to the mission operator.
The requirements for artificial intelligence and machine learning for military helicopter avionics are still being developed in terms of how it can be leveraged in the best possible manner.
A few notable trends emerging in military aircraft avionics are a continued push to large touch-screen displays, multicore processing and open architectures.
The global Military Avionics market is estimated at $XXM in 2020 growing at –% CAGR till 20205
April 2020- Lockheed Martin got a $50 Million contract for U-2 Dragon Lady reconnaissance aircraft. The upgrade will also include a new mission computer designed to the USAF’s open mission systems (OMS) standard that allows integration of systems across air, space, sea, land, and cyber domains
Feb 2020- Green Hills Software announced that its INTEGRITY-178 Time-Variant Unified Multi-Processing (tuMP) RTOS running on a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU was selected by Northrop Grumman Corporation for the Embedded GPS/ INS-Modernization (EGI-M) program
Feb 2020– Elbit Systems won a $43 Million contract from Hanwha Systems Co. Ltd. to equip the Next-gen Korean fighter jets in development with embedded Terrain Following-Terrain Avoidance (TF/TA) systems. The contract will be performed till 2026.
Feb 2020– Honeywell won a contract to provide Leonardo’s helicopter division with a cockpit upgrade — Honeywell’s innovative Primus Epic 2.0. The upgrade includes the SmartView synthetic vision system which will help pilots navigate during low-visibility conditions A more user-friendly, iNAV map visual interface will also be available
Nov 2019– Airbus C95 C295 tactical aircraft to be equipped with Collins Aerospace System`s Pro Line Fusion flight deck. Key features include four 14.1-inch touchscreen display, night-vision goggle capability for low light conditions, and Enhanced Vision System (EVS) sensor to see through low-visibility conditions.
Oct 2019- Lockheed Martin won a $40.6 Million contract to produce Modernized Turrets (M-TUR) for the AH-64E Apache helicopter. It provides pilots with long-range, precision engagement, and pilotage capabilities for flight safety during day and night, including adverse weather conditions.
May 2019- Harris to supply its mission management open systems processor to Boeing + to support the U.S. Navy’s MQ-25 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) refuelling program
Feb 2019- M7 Aerospace (subsidiary of Elbit Systems of America) won a $22 Million contract to provide an avionics refresh for U.S. Air National Guard’s RC-26B fixed-wing aircraft. The contract includes avionics engineering, design, integration, modification, test, and maintenance
Leading players like Harris Corporation have made heavy investments in high-density electronic packaging for the cards and efficient thermal-management techniques. For example, a liquid-cooled chassis to house the ICP and an air-cooled solution for the panoramic cockpit display.
Collins Aerospace developed a new software tool for Helicopter Pilots by combining synthetic vision systems and its Avoidance Re-Router cognitive decision-aiding application. The new software allows Pilots to quickly react to stationary or moving threats encountered along the flight path.
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