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.

23 Comments on "Raytheon’s Future Trooper Has Killer Monocle"

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

  2. Time to start the spartan initiative.

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

  4. “. . . 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Ok Glass, Danger Close!

  8. Sounds like google glasses to me.

  9. That helmet should come with air conditioning!

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

  11. 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….

  12. google glass ok — you will be worse

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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….

  16. 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.

  17. Looks like a Resistance fighter from the "Terminator".

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


  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

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