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Tornado HUD Pilot's Display Unit

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0416
Category: Head-Up Display [HUD]
Object Type: Display Unit
Object Name: Tornado HUD Pilot's Display Unit
Part No: 3887/53410
Serial No: 014
Manufacturer: GEC-Ferranti
Division: Unknown
Platform(s): Tornado 
Year of Manufacture: 1993
Width (mm):
Height (mm):
Depth (mm):
Weight (g):
Location: Mezzanine Store

Pilots Display Unit
3887/53410/ /
Spec SP-P-970621-00P
Ser No 014
- kg
Software Standard 2
[optical modiule]
Combiner Assy
Ref No 3887/53715
Ser No 003


Bidding for the Royal Air Force's Tornado GR4 mid-life upgrade started in 1987 and the Company bid a variant of the F-16C/D HUD system. The GR4 programme was much delayed and finally commenced in 1996. In 1991 Omitec delivered Rugate coated Combiners to GEC Ferranti for their wide-angle HUD. This work was supported by DERA and resulted in a successful bid. GEC Ferranti stated that the combiner coating would allow the display brightness to be increased by some "three to six" times of the original. The stated luminance to the pilot is around 5100cd/m2 which is indeed significantly more than a conventional HUD with a P43 phosphor on the CRT and neutral density Combiner coatings which is typically 1500cd/m2. This made cursive symbology easier to read as well as making possible daylight viewing of the forward-looking infra-red image. The Type 9000 HUD has a 25 degree Total Field of View but has dual Combiner glasses. The CRT uses the P53 phosphor which was not initially liked by pilots because of the colour but its good burn resistant properties and narrow bandwidth have made it an industry standard now. This HUD also has a full colour recording Camera on the aft end.
142 Tornado GR.Mk 1 aircraft were rebuilt to the improved Tornado GR.Mk 4 mid-life upgrade standard with the new Ferranti HUD, new Smiths colour HDD, updated weapon control system, new computer loading system, new digital storage/image generating system for the moving map display, integrated defensive suite, and an interface permitting the carriage of the TIALD pod.

The Tornado originally came in two variants; the Interdictor Strike Version (IDS) for the German, Air Force and Navy, Italian Air Force, and the Royal Air Force, and the Air Defence Version (ADV) for the Royal Air Force only. Marconi-Elliott Avionic Systems provided a wide range of equipment for both variants.

• Digital Autopilot Flight Director System (AFDS)in conjunction with Aeritalia, Italy
• Command Stability Augmentation System (CSAS)  in conjunction with Bodenseewerk, Germany
• Quadruplex Actuator Integrated into Fairey Hydraulics power control unit
• Stores Management System (SMS) in conjunction with Selenia, Italy
• Fuel Flowmeter System in conjunction with Teldix, Germany and OMI, Italy
• TV Tabular Display System in conjunction with AEG Telefunken, Germany
• Combined Radar and Projected Map Display (CRPMD) from Ferranti
• E-Scope Display System
• Triplex Transducer Unit
• Central Suppression Unit
• Engine Control Unit

RAF IDS variants were initially designated the Tornado GR1 with two variants called the Tornado GR1A and Tornado GR1B; the Tornado F3 was yet another version.

The contract covering the development and production investment for the Royal Air Force's mid-life update (MLU) for their 229 Tornado GRl and F3 aircraft was signed in April 1989. The upgrade included the following:

• Introduction of a new avionics architecture built around a 1553 databus.
• New sensors & Displays consisting of a Forward Looking Infra-red sensor, a Pilot's Multi-Function Display with digital map, wide angle HUD, Computer Symbol Generator, Video recording System and a Computer loading System.
• New Armament Control System consisting of a Stores Management System, a Weapon Interface Unit linked to a 1553 databus within a 1760 interface.
• A Night Vision Goggle compatible cockpit and the aircraft is also equipped with Forward Looking InfraRed (FLIR)
• Terrain Reference Navigation /Terrain Following Display/Terrain Following Switching & Logic Unit /Covert RadAlt.

Ferranti won the contract for the new HUD, Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Displays (AMLCD) to replace the TV Tabs, EHDD and E-scope. To support the new avionics a new Computer Signal Generator (CSG), with several times the computing capacity of the original Tornado main computer, and using the new high level ADA progamming language was procured

The Ferranti Nite-Op jettisonable NVGs were also procured under a separate contract.

In the event the MLU project stalled. In March 1993 a new Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) project was launched and in1994 the UK signed a contract for MLU of GR1/GR1A/GR1Bs to GR4/GR4A standard.

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