BAE Systems and Red 6 have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the possibility of equipping the Hawk trainer aircraft with augmented reality (AR) systems.

BAE Systems’ Hawk advanced trainer is a single-seat, multi-role combat aircraft used by military forces, including the UK Royal Air Force, for training pilots.

The announcement was made during the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) 2022, currently underway in Orlando, Florida, US.

The latest effort will see the two companies working together to explore different ways to integrate Advanced Tactical Augmented Reality Systems (ATARS) into the trainer jet.

The AR system is expected to provide ease to the pilots in identifying, engaging and deterring virtual threats, during airborne missions. 

Red 6 founder and CEO Daniel Robinson said: “Readiness and lethality are critical if warfighters are to prevail against near-peer adversaries.

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“I’m thrilled that BAE Systems recognises radical innovation that ATARS brings to drive change in military flight training that is so desperately needed and that together can help drive this transformational shift.”

BAE Systems’ 60 years of experience in the augmented reality market will support this collaboration to benefit pilots of tomorrow.

The partnership will leverage Red 6’s ATARS technology and BAE Systems’ expertise in the production of helmet-mounted displays and in military training.

BAE Systems air sector training head Lucy Walton said: “The modern battlespace is becoming increasingly complex and integrating technology such as Red 6’s AR with Hawk aircraft is key as we prepare pilots for life in a fast jet cockpit for decades to come.

“We’re trusted by armed forces around the world to train over 450 pilots per year and it’s essential we have the right technologies and partnerships to ensure they stay ahead of curve.”