F-16 LANTIRN Diffractive HUD Optical Module

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0143
Category: Head-Up Display [HUD]
Object Type: Module/Sub-Assembly/Component
Object Name: F-16 LANTIRN Diffractive HUD Optical Module
Part No: 2501-00047
Serial No: L0005?
Manufacturer: Pilkington PE
Division: Unknown
Platform(s): F-16C/D Fighting Falcon 
Year of Manufacture:
Width (mm):
Height (mm):
Depth (mm):
Weight (g):
Location: Archive Object Store

Part No 2501-00047
Serial No L0005?
Mfr Code K6111
Mfr Part No 038674
Contract No F33657-82-C-2038


The Company developed a diffractive optical system using three combiner elements which gave a large Head Motion Box. In 1980 Marconi won the contract to supply the HUD for the USAF LANTIRN programme of which 932 were manufactured for the USAF. The LANTIRN programme links a Forward Looking Infra Red system to the HUD to present a TV picture at night of the outside world. The slight loss of transmission through the three combiner elements was not a problem in night operation although not ideal for Air-to-Air.

A raster display alone cannot give adequate symbol resolution and ensure that the symbology is always visible over the brightest shade of raster. A technique of drawing all the symbology cursively in the field blank period of the video was developed which meant drawing nearly ten times as fast. Suddenly flying by night at low level was possible. The HUD gives a 30 degree field of view in azimuth; essential for looking into turns and a 20 degree vertical view. The HUD was known as the DHUD for Diffractive HUD or WARHUD for Wide Angle Raster HUD.

This item is the pre-production design (without the tie-bars) #0005. The Optical Module was made by Pilkington for GEC Avionics.

Click to enlarge