Google may well be working on its Google Project Glass augmented reality visors, but British defence company BAE Systems has delivered its Tornado Helmet Mounted Cueing System to the Royal Air Force, proving that heads-up displays are already fully operational in the military.

Now operational on Tornado GR4 aircraft utilised in Afghanistan, the HMCS projects live data in front of the pilot's eye, allowing them instantly to access points of interest. It should also help them immediately to identify allied forces, helping to cut down on "friendly fire" incidents.

"The Tornado HMCS capability has greatly enhanced the crews’ situational awareness and resource management, enabling the rapid identification of points of interest in the homogeneous Afghan environment," said Wing Commander Kurt Hill, FAST Tornado capability manager.

Martin Taylor, BAE Systems’ combat air support director, added: "Over the coming months, we will continue to work with the customer, to provide the capability across the wider Tornado fleet." 

BAE Systems already utilises helmet-mounted display (HMD) technology in other military applications, including helmet-mounted night vision systems, helmet-mounted sighting systems, and monocular and binocular displays.