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Microvision Receives $4.4 million Contract from General Dynamics for Further Development of Air Warrior Virtual Cockpit Helmet-Mounted Display


Thursday June 30, 9:35 am ET

Helicopter Crew Display System Will Enhance Army Aircrew Performance, Safety

BOTHELL, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 30, 2005--Microvision, Inc. (Nasdaq:MVIS - News), the leader in light scanning technologies for display and imaging products, announced today that it has received a $4.4 million contract from General Dynamics C4 Systems to advance the development of a Helmet-Mounted Display (HMD) as a candidate technology for the Air Warrior Block 3 system.

General Dynamics is under contract with the U.S. Army's Product Manager -- Air Warrior in Huntsville, Ala., to develop and integrate the Air Warrior Block 3 system, consisting of state-of-the-art electronics and advanced, mission-specific protective clothing for Army helicopter aircrew members.

The General Dynamics "soldier-as-a-system" solution includes a Modular Integrated Helmet Display System (MIHDS). The MIHDS provides integration and interface of symbology, imaging sensors, and head-position tracking devices, permitting the aircrew a clear view of the external environment during both day and night operations. The Microvision HMD design will provide a full-color, see-through, daylight and night-readable, high-resolution (800X600 pixels) display as a candidate technology for the MIHDS.

The Air Warrior Block 3 system will be compatible with multiple helicopter types, including the CH-47 Chinook, OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, AH-64 Apache and UH-60 Blackhawk, and will be designed for future interoperability with the Army's Land Warrior and Future Combat Systems programs.

The 12-month contract will focus on preparing the Microvision HMD System for potential use in attack and utility helicopters, with specific emphasis on continued ruggedization and miniaturization of the HMD system. The previous phase of the program, with Microvision contracting directly with the Army Aviation and Missile Command, culminated in the delivery of a prototype full-color, daylight-readable helmet-mounted display. The new contract is expected to result in an upgrade for that display that will be ruggedized, miniaturized, and soldier-wearable in a package similar to Microvision's Nomad Helmet-Mounted Display System.

"The Air Warrior system enhances Army helicopter crews' lethality and survivability by giving them better information and survival equipment," said Mark Showah, director of Intelligent Network Systems for General Dynamics C4 Systems. "By researching, testing and integrating technology and ensuring it is in concert with customer requirements, we're confident we can leverage the best technology across the entire breadth of soldier systems."

Rick Rutkowski, Microvision CEO, stated, "We are pleased and excited to join General Dynamics in the Air Warrior Block 3 Program because it is the largest development and production program for Army aircrew equipment. Microvision's scanned beam display technology is particularly well suited for use in the Air Warrior Modular Integrated Helmet Display System because of its unique abilities to provide head-up display readability in full color in variable lighting conditions, and to achieve the efficiencies associated with a small, light-weight display that draws very low power."

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