Raytheon’s Future Trooper Has Killer Monocle

Male Aviation Wariror Using Wrist Display

PARIS — Raytheon Co. is pitching a futuristic new uniform system featuring a helmet-mounted monocle that would let troops target air strikes simply by moving their head and pressing a button.

The system, unveiled this week at the Paris Air Show, is designed for the joint tactical air controller. Part of the Advanced Warfighter Awareness for Real-time Engagement systems, or AWARE, it features a transparent monocle display attached to a helmet, small computer affixed to the chest and smart phone-like device on the wrist.

“Everything here is based on current technology and an open architecture,” Todd Lovell, an engineer and technical director in the intelligence, information and services unit at the Waltham, Mass.-based company. The helmet display is made by Lumus Ltd., based in Rehovot, Israel.

The Raytheon unit in 2012 generated about $6 billion of the company’s overall revenue of $24 billion, according to John Harris, vice president and general manager of the segment.

The company gave demonstrations of the system to reporters and other show attendees. Officials said the Air Force may begin a competition later this year to further develop or buy the equipment. Other contractors such as General Dynamics Corp. may also be interested in bidding for the work.

Similar to screens already installed in aircraft and vehicles, the system would allow a service member on the ground to digitally mark a target such as a building or vehicle. The coordinates could then be instantly relayed to a fighter jet or armored vehicle to carry out a strike.

Indeed, next to the ground display was another of an F-16 cockpit, which as part of the simulation fired a laser-guided missile that struck and blew up the target. The system can also track other objects such as friendly forces.

The number of airmen or special operations forces in the U.S. military who would probably use the gear ranges from 1,000 to 5,000, according to Rimas Guzulaitis, director of business development for the unit.

The system is designed to make troops more aware of their surroundings by giving them three-dimensional visual and audio data, according to a brochure distributed by the company. Ultimately, it’s about improving the safety of troops and their effectiveness in combat, Guzulaitis said.

Writing down coordinates from a map and relaying them verbally “can inject errors into the system,” he said. If you can make the process easier, he said, “you cut through the fog of war.”

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of Military.com. He can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • marc27

    its a great idea but the size of the helmet is ridiculous.

    • tmb2

      Looks like a standard helicopter helmet.

    • A. Nonymous

      That’s known as the “Rick Moranis Special”.

      Evil will always triumph over good, because good is dumb. – Dark Helmet

      • Moranis

        The power of the schwartz

    • blight_

      Anyone notice the size of that black pack on his chest with wires coming out of it?

      • tmb2

        I’m going to guess a switch box for a couple radios.

    • USS ENTERPRISE

      Nah, its just armor ;-)

  • Ricky

    Time to start the spartan initiative.

  • Mitch S.

    “Future trooper with killer monocle”
    I guess everything old is new again: http://www.wattking.com/post/officer201/off07.jpg

  • Wayne

    “. . . a helmet-mounted monocle that would let troops target air strikes simply by moving their head and pressing a button . . . The system can also track other objects such as friendly forces.”

    Those two features definitely belong in the same sentence!

    • blight_

      Of course, if you are in a moving truck and are trying to call in an airstrike while the truck vibrates, and then a bump sends the reticle to point at your feet..well…

      “Everyone out of the truck!”

      • Charles

        I see what you mean, but this is the point in the day-dream where “target mode” automatically dials up the stabilization/anti-jitter on my exoskeleton and I complete the mission successfully.

        • blight_

          “Dude, you left the damn airstrike mode on…bomb incoming!”

          (Which happened twice in GWOT: Once in Afghanistan with the guys protecting Hamid Karzai, and again in Nothern Iraq as part of OIF.)

  • hibeam

    The future of war is props in the air not boots on the ground. Put the money where it does the most good. How about in air refueling for drones? How about Solar powered drones that stay on station forever by climbing and charging during the day and grudgingly surrendering altitude on battery power during the night. Bird shaped drones that perch and stare and fly away when discovered.

  • tiger

    More techno garbage & weight for a GI to carry. While the bad guys in t-shirts & Jeans run circles around them. Stick to the K.I.S.S. principle of engineering.

  • blight_

    Ok Glass, Danger Close!

    • blight_

      Don’t forget he is mister badass with a knife in one thigh holster and a gun in the other? Han Solo approves!

  • Chips
  • greg

    Sounds like google glasses to me.

  • josh

    That helmet should come with air conditioning!

  • hibeam

    I just visited the amputees section of the drone operator’s hospital ward. Happy to report it was empty.

  • vidarr

    I guess James Cameron got it mostly right…in Aliens, back in 1986. At least it doesn’t have that big awkward shoulder mounted camera….

    • blight_

      Needs that motion detector…

      Xenomorphs should be here…they’re right on top of us!

      (Demonstrating that the motion sensor might not be so useful in MOUT)

    • USS ENTERPRISE

      Well, lets hope whatever campaign happens, doesn’t end up like another one of his movies (Avatar).

  • anonymous

    google glass ok — you will be worse

  • Roland

    This would be dangerous to fall into the hands of the enemy or terrorist. Fielding these units should be classified and only special units should carry it. Also it should have self destruct if it was stolen or falls into the enemies and terrorist hands.

    • USS ENTERPRISE

      Having a helmet with explosives wired to it. It would suck in a weapons cook off.

      • Jay

        It could be programmed and equipped to electronically “kill” itself, by sending a strong voltage spike through the solid-state components, rendering the data, and circuitry useless. This could be done by programming it to kamikaze, if; A) It is disconnected from normal communications, beyond a set time limit. B) It is tampered with. C) on command, by the wearer. D) Triggered externally, wirelessly, by command authority.

        More importantly, it should have a tracking device built in to the Helmet’s communication set, with a separate, long endurance battery.

  • YepHeJumped

    All these and most other innovative combat platforms rely on satellite navigation, of which satellite disruption (Acitve Denial, the ability to control the theatre of operation) is one with the highest priorities in all Gevernments at this time.

  • Ken

    and I am sure they have hardened the electronics on this thing……likely NOT…..people will be killed before they figure it out the right way. why is it that we could do things right during WW2 but ever since, we trip over ourselves….again and again….

    • pete0097

      It’s easy, since WWII, we have had to fight our wars and stay politically correct. Do you think there were civilians killed during our bombing during WWII. Of course, but there were no Allied reporters there reporting it and saying how bad we were for doing it. SInce then, we can’t kill or even hurt a civilian without getting blasted by the press. This is a big improvement in war, but doesn’t make those civilians want to force their government to capitulate.

  • Tom

    I just wonder if anyone has thought about the consequences of one being lost in combat. What if the enemy gets hold of one in war. Would they have the ability to then redirect our own airstrikes against us? If that happened, is there a remote “OFF” button so we could disable it. Just food for thought.

    • majr0d

      For 30 years we’ve installed “zeroing” capability on our COMSEC and sensitive tech gear. Flip a switch and everything is erased (frequencies, encryption, IFF codes and all data). Troops are also taught to destroy equipment if it’s in danger of capture. It’s a minor issue.

  • Edger

    Looks like a Resistance fighter from the “Terminator”.

  • Meatpopsicle

    If this makes it to the field I suspect there will be a big spike in air strike targets.

    TARGET EVERYTHING…lol

  • majr0d

    Silly. This is showmanship not a tech advantage.

    Helmet size/weight is ridiculous. How does one zero or boresight the monocle? How does the soldier put on night vision goggles or a gas mask? How does the soldier see the target in the dark or smoke obscured environments?

    What advantage does this monstrosity have over current laser designators that do the same thing e.g. send targeting data directly from the equipment to the aircraft without the operator having to punch in numbers that are also compatible with night vision devices.

    Stuff like this get’s people excited who have watched too many sci fi movies.

    • tmb2

      Why a helicopter aircrew helmet and not an ACH?

      • majr0d

        More room for electronics? Grunts have fat heads and fill up their helmets :)

        • tiger

          More like Mr. Peanut goes to war……

  • crazy
  • CDS

    To me, this seems to be a variation on the laser designator theme, except it’s built into the helmet instead of being a separate piece of kit.

    For those who are worried about what happens if one is captured by the enemy: The scenario you’re talking about isn’t new by any means. In WWII, the Brits “hacked” into the radio network guiding German night fighters to redirect and confuse the interceptors. I’m sure this is not a simple “look at it, push a button, and presto-changeo, a bomb lands” setup but rather another way of gathering and relaying target data for when the strike is called in.

  • Jimbo

    How tall is that guy? That get up makes him look like he is about 4ft. and with junk hanging out around his knees would really be fun in a place with “Wait a Minute” vines.