Flight instrument design has begun to include a new electronic technology for the display head: active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD). This is a significant design transition and applies across the board to complete cockpit modernization programs, individual instrument replacement projects, and new systems. AMLCD-based instruments are expected to have a substantially higher mean time between failure compared to both electromechanical and CRT- based instruments. Thus, the new technology will pay for itself. Furthermore, AMLCDs are truly sunlight-readable whereas CRT displays are not; it is mission critical that a pilot be able to see an instrument with the sun shining directly in the eye or onto the display. AMLCDs can also provide larger display areas enabling formats which increase situational awareness. As this is a new technology for the military, an industrial base for militarized AMLCDs must be created based on present research capabilities. The requirements for AMLCDs in DOD programs have been analyzed. Projects to build infrastructure and capacity are described. Applications include not only cockpits, but also digital map/GPS integrated displays for tank commanders and field laptop computers. We have the opportunity with this new technology to establish a common critical item product function specification for sunlight-readable, color and grayscale capable, flat panel displays for military applications. the Wright Laboratory is leading the development of such functional specification for U.S. military aircraft.