Friday, April 1, 2011

Rafale HMD spotted !

© Charles Neuf
April fool - At last, a Rafale pilot has been spotted with a Helmet Mounted Display earlier this week at the Mont de Marsan Air Base (CEAM).
It is not known yet if this helmet is from Sagem or Thales. In 2005 the 2 companies had competed to equip the French Air Force. Back then, Sagem won the contract with its Gerfaut HMD but the deal was eventualy broken y the French DGA for some reason.

It was said that the Sagem product was favored because it was using IR detection instead of radio tracking, a system considered by the French Navy as too sensitive to interferences in the dense EM environment of the aircraft carrier.

Since then, it was said that Thales had took the lead back with an upgraded version of the Topsight.
Apparently, the HMD on the picture seems to fit on a standard Gallet LA-100 helmet and looks rather compact. We will probably learn more about this long awaited equipment at the next Le Bourget Air Show due to take place in Paris next June. - April fool

Ok that was not funny :)
For those who thought it was real, the helmet is in fact a gallet LA-100 (the usual French Air Force flight helmet) mixed with a Thales topowl, HMD of the Tiger Helicopter (See below)


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