Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin has selected BAE Systems to modernize head-up displays in F-16 aircraft for the United Arab Emirates' armed forces.
BAE Systems' Digital Light Engine technology will replace the fleet's analog system of cathode ray tube images with digital projectors, the company said in a release. They sit directly in a pilot's line of sight and present real-time, flight-critical information without obstructing the user's view outside.
The change will not modify the aircraft, cabling, or computing.
"To the naked eye, the pilot sees no difference in performance when our DLE HUD is installed. It retains the existing optics, video camera, and control panel," said Andy Humphries, director of Advanced Displays at BAE Systems. "The real difference is the significant cost savings our customer will experience over the product's life cycle as a result of reduced maintenance and spares requirements."
BAE estimates it will reduce life-cycle costs by 20 percent and has four times the reliability of legacy analog systems.
Last November, the United Arab Emirates announced it will pay Lockheed Martin $1.63 billion to upgrade 80 F-16 jet fighters.
In 2017, the technology was selected to modernize the F-22 HUD for the U.S. Air Force. The company has provided the original analog HUDs for the F-16 and F-22 aircraft.
For more than 60 years the company has developed and produced more than 15,000 head-up displays on more than 50 different aircraft types in more than 50 countries.