'Shake and bake': Testing a modern jet fighter helmet

The BBC has been given behind the scenes access to BAE Systems' Rochester plant, where they manufacture the latest model of digital, smart helmets designed for jet fighters.

These allow pilots to see an "augmented reality" view of the airspace around them, thanks to a system of LEDs on the helmet, sensors in the cockpit and cameras mounted outside the plane.

The technology in this "Striker" generation of helmets is being used at the moment by UK jet pilots flying Typhoon planes, for example.

Alan Jowett of BAE Systems explained the long programme of tests that takes place before a pilot can wear a helmet in a combat situation.

These begin at the development stage, where many possible design concepts are put through their paces, and end at the manufacture stage, where individual helmets that have actually been built are tested before leaving the plant.

Video Journalist: Dougal Shaw

  • Published
  • Section
    BBC News