Since the advent of radar in the 1940's there has been an increasing number os systems requiring the display of information to various levels of the military command structure. However, display technology has been a limiting factor in designing military systems. Cathode ray tubes (CRTs) are sensitive to vibration, are affected by the earth's magnetic field, require high voltage, emit RF signals, and are bulky and heavy. The military has been the foremost funding sources of display technology development here in the US. With the development of flat panel display technologies the military has finally been able to incorporate displays in field portable equipment, however these displays have limitations in brightness, ruggedness, and other factors that are problems in several key applications. One of these issues is the size limitation of flat panel displays. One of the compensating approaches taking a leap forward in application is the use of flat panel displays in projection systems. This paper will review the tradeoffs in these projectors, the interaction between sub-system component groups, design issues affecting ruggedness, and the performance of the final projector. In addition, a discussion is included on the impact of ambient light on the applicability of front and rear projection systems.