September 12, 2011

Contract Award: Barco to provide rugged display for Air Defense

Barco TX-243 Commander Display (Barco)
References: Barco (1,2,3)

News Report

As appeared in a recent press release, Barco announced that it has been selected by defense company MBDA for its first Multi Purpose Combat Vehicle system (MPCV). Barco will provide its TL-248 and TX-243 rugged displays, mission recorders and Fiber Optic Link for these armored ground vehicles.

The Product

The TL-248 is Barco’s 19" thin and lightweight display offering significant benefits with respect to dimensions, ruggedization and intelligence. The TL display family combines thinness with exceptionally low weight to provide a unique, rugged display solution, especially for applications where space and weight are critical. The TL-248 features a 19" Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Display offering excellent performance in terms of brightness, crispness, contrast and viewing angle. Several options and bezel configurations are available to address virtually any mounting need in any application. Additionally, the TL-248 combines this high level of performance and versatility with a very competitive price/performance value.

Barco's TX-243 is an extremely rugged display for the highly demanding environment of the utility vehicle, helicopter or ground army vehicle. The TX-243 offers an ideal solution for battlefield management, fire control, driver’s view enhancement, reconnaissance or local situational awareness inside today’s rugged vehicles. Barco's TX-243 display offers the latest proven technologies, such as low-reflection touch screen, NVIS capability and sunlight readability. The TX-243 features a unique thermal management system which makes the displays fit for the harshest temperature environments. The combination of low-risk, proven display technology with Barco’s innovative display concepts makes the TX-243 the most trusted mission-critical display for vehicle operations on the market.

The Context

MBDA is the European leader and a world leader in the missile systems sector. Four years after launching its self-funded development of MPCV (Multi Purpose Combat Vehicle), a new generation of mobile, quick reaction ground based air defense systems, MBDA has signed a contract with an export customer, for whom MBDA will be integrating its air defense system onto high mobility armored vehicles. For these systems, MBDA has officially selected Barco's TX-243 commander display and TL-248 fire control display in combination with a complete set of operator HMI (Human Machine Interface) functionalities. In addition, MBDA has also selected Barco's mission recorder for post-mission analysis and training and its Fiber Optic Link for remote operation in a safe environment.


The Multi Purpose Combat Vehicle (MPCV) is an MBDA self-funded program for a flexible very short range air defense (VSHORAD) system. The MCPV combines the proven Mistral short range surface-to-air missile (SAM), a machine gun and advanced sensors and fire control system. The Renault Sherpa 3A is the basic platform for this VSHORAD system but can be integrated onto many platforms upon customer request. The system relies on VHF PR4G-F@stnet communications supplied by Thales. The system is network-centric operations capable and can be operated remotely at a distance of up to 50 meters with the crew in sheltered positions. The MCPV air defense system has been ordered by the French Armed Forces. In February 2011, MBDA announced the first export order from an undisclosed customer in the Middle East with the first series production vehicles to be delivered in 2013.

The program was launched in 2006. Final qualification of the MPCV system was carried out by the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) in June 2010 after a series of test firings at the missile test firing centre at Biscarosse in the Landes region of France. These tests culminated with a firing demonstration against a number of targets representing a saturating air attack. The MPCV can be integrated within a command and coordination network via the MCP (Mistral Coordination Post) command and control system (C2). The MPCV's turret is fitted with four ready-to-fire Mistral missiles with another four stored inside the vehicle, a 12.7mm self-defense machine gun, and EOSS (Electro-Optic Surveillance Sensor) enabling the passive surveillance, detection and tracking of the target even when the vehicle is in motion.


We selected Barco because we needed a reliable partner and because of their position of worldwide leader in rugged displays,” comments the MPCV Project Manager at MBDA. “Barco's rugged displays provide the operator with an efficient, ergonomic interface system. They are renowned for their extreme reliability and excellent readability. In addition, we very much value Barco's project management capabilities.

Barco has been serving the defense community for over 20 years, providing a qualified line of visualization technologies for many military vehicle programs around the world. This experience enabled us to quickly customize our products to the specific MBDA requirements for the first demonstrator unit,” comments Jean-Luc Pomier, Market Director for Barco's Defense & Aerospace Division. “Based on this successful development, we were selected for the full program.”

Further Readings

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