« Previous Next »

F-16 LANTIRN HUD Pilot's Display Unit

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0098
Category: Head-Up Display [HUD]
Object Type: Display Unit
Object Name: F-16 LANTIRN HUD Pilot's Display Unit
Part No: 79-081-12-02B
Serial No: K0656C0003
Manufacturer: Unknown
Division: Unknown
Platform(s): F-16C/D Fighting Falcon 
Year of Manufacture: 1985
Width (mm):
Height (mm):
Depth (mm):
Weight (g):
Location: Mezzanine Store

Display Unit, Sight Head Up
Contract F33657-82-C-2038
Dsgn. Act K0656
PN 79-081-12-02B
Mfr. K0656
Ser. No. K0656C0003
[relay optic]
Mfr Pt No 038674.


This HUD has serial number 0003, but was assembled from various parts made from 1980 onward: The Combiner structure is the production form whereas the earlier prototypes had ‘tie-bars’ going forward from the Combiner support down to the chassis.

GEC-Marconi Avionics began development of diffractive (holographic) optical elements in the late 70’s building on the work of the Marconi Research Centre at Great Baddow under Dr Firth. A clean room was opened at Rochester in 1987 to carry out research and to manufacture holographic elements. It has an optical bench going down to bedrock to minimise the vibrations from the nearby motorway!  

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. 

Click to enlarge