The US Air Force (USAF) has selected Garmin International’s D2 Charlie aviator watch for use by the pilots of the U-2 ultra-high altitude reconnaissance aircraft.
Under the terms of the deal, Garmin International will be responsible for delivering more than 100 units of the D2 Charlie aviator watches to the specialised pilot group of the USAF.
The aviator watch is enabled with a high-sensitivity wide area augmentation system (WAAS) global positioning system (GPS), while it provides pilots with global navigation capability, as well as rich and colourful moving maps.
The maps display airports, navigational aids, roads, water bodies and cities, providing enhanced situational awareness to the pilots.
Garmin International Aviation Sales and Marketing vice-president Carl Wolf said: “Garmin is honoured to have been selected by the USAF to equip the men and women who fly one of the most iconic aircraft in the history of aviation.
“The D2 Charlie aviator watch will be an integral and functional part of the U-2 pilot’s toolkit.”
The watch, with a service ceiling of 70,000ft, will offer a wide range of benefits to the pilots, which include barometric-based O2 alerting and GPS-specific features.
The D2 Charlie can be linked with Garmin Connect on a connected mobile device that would provide a view of the weather radar on top of the map display relative to flight plan information.
In addition, the aviator watch is equipped with a complete multisport toolset that can be used for running, golfing, cycling, swimming, and skiing.
Users can also connect the device to a compatible smartphone that would allow them to view phone calls, text, and email notifications.
Developed by Lockheed Martin, the U-2 is a reconnaissance aircraft that can be deployed for intelligence gathering, research and communication purposes.