New heroes of invisible battles
By Ivan Troyanov
“You look through the camera with your right eye and then adjust the focus,” explains a representative from the Display Design Bureau, showing me how to use a helmet equipped with video surveillance. The ‘helmet mounted display system’ has been designed to show a range of information useful to a soldier during battle. Accuracy, navigation and other data is sent to a small screen located near the right eye. You can even select a focal point, the co-ordinates of which are immediately sent to HQ for target seeking.
“Three years ago, we couldn’t imagine a contemporary soldier using a computer unless it was handheld,” notes Alexander Voitenkov, Display’s Director. “However, it was very inconvenient, since soldiers also have to carry their guns and a luminescent screen could reveal their location at night. This helmet helps solve all these issues.”
Representatives of the defence industry believe that ‘miniaturisation’ is a top priority; the ‘Rapsodiya’ multi-task broadcasting station, designed for the armed forces, is tiny compared to the huge ‘cabinets’ currently in use. Contemporary jamming transmitters, named ‘Tuman’ (Fog), are also quite compact, easily installed on small, pilotless aircraft. “The operating range depends on the height at which the craft is being flown, but it’s good,” the manufacturers assure us.
The ‘special-purpose robotic system’ is also able to fix locations and send camera recorded data to an observation point. It can move at up to 4km/h, working for 12 uninterrupted hours. You could use it to guard a summer cottage or protect a nuclear power station; the latter was perceived as one of its possible uses during development. Of course, various types of weapons can be installed on its platform, leading us to speculate that the wars of the future will be conducted remotely, via computers and joysticks.