|Object Name:||Inertial Platform|
|Year of Manufacture:||circa 1964|
|Location:||Archive Object Store|
In an attempt to make use of the experience gained in the 1960’s designing the inertial navigator for the ‘Blue Steel' air-to-surface missile the Company embarked on the development of a general-purpose instrument for aircraft navigation, and an experimental stable platform, E5 was built. This project was not completed, as it was realised that the platform was likely to be too bulky for many applications, and improvements in technique appeared to offer scope for a reduction in size. This was realised in the E3 stable platform, using a novel gimbal system which permitted a very compact construction. This design entered production for the Hawker Siddeley Aviation HS801 'Nimrod' maritime strike and reconnaissance aircraft. However a further development of the E-3 platform, the E-3R which permitted a wider range of manoeuvre, was specified for the BAC/Breguet 'Jaguar' fighter, and entered service in 1970 rapidly becoming an industry standard.
The Jaguar Navigation and Weapon Aiming Sub-System NAVWASS comprised the MCS920M central digital computer, E3R inertial platform, projected map display and horizontal situation indicator together with the necessary power supply, electronic, interface and control units.
This E3 Platform was made in about 1964 as a demonstrator unit and is mounted on a wooden plinth. It was regarded as so precious, being extremely expensive, that Jack Pateman, the Managing Director at the time, would only allow engineers to carry it. The gyro assemblies alone were said to cost 2½ times an engineer's salary.
Peter Keay was the designer and Mo Jury was also involved and he recovered this unit from being scrapped. Dummy accelerometers were originally fitted but have been removed leaving gaps in the unit. The machining was done by a local Rochester company Medway Investment Castings. This unit has a transparent cover and is mounted on a wooden stand as a demonstrator.