With its array of digital systems – from the cockpit, flight control system and precision-guided weapons – Poland’s future FA-50 Fighting Eagle fleet will now also adopt Thales’ digitalised Scorpion Helmet Mounted Display (HMD).
The Scorpion HMD equips pilots with enhanced situational awareness by providing an augmented picture of the pilot’s environment. Scorpion uses full-colour symbology, zero-perceived latency, and a single display module for both day and night operations – all at reduced life-cycle costs.
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) developed the FA-50 Fighting Eagle, a light combat aircraft for the South Korean Air Force, which entered service in 2006.
The FA-50 measures 13.14m in length, 9.45m in width, and 4.82m in height. The empty weight of the aircraft is 6.47 tonnes (t). It can take-off with a maximum gross weight of 12.3t.
In September 2022, the Polish Government contracted KAI to deliver 48 FA-50 aircraft to replace the ageing MiG-29 aircraft in the Polish Air Force.
In June this year, the first units were produced and Poland’s Minister of National Defence, Mariusz Błaszczak, stated: “This is an extremely important moment for the [Polish] Air Force. We dispose of post-Soviet aircraft and from now on Polish combat aviation will only use F-16 and FA-50 aircraft, and soon also [the] F-35.
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“These three types come from the same family of excellent and modern aircraft. This is a great asset when building an interoperable air defense system and a unified training system,” Błaszczak added.
“We are excited to add the FA-50 to the long list of highly capable combat aircraft embracing our Scorpion HMD,” said Jim Geraghty, vice president of Visionix, a division of Thales Defense & Security. “For KAI we also supply rotary wing versions for their Light Armed and Marine Attack helicopters.”
“Scorpion’s simplified approach to platform integration, superior situational awareness, high reliability and enhanced pilot comfort makes this system unmatched in the HMD marketplace.”