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Matt Black Systems creates market leading illuminated keyboards and data entry devices. Our culture of continuous improvement and innovation ensures that our clients always receive a solution based on the latest technological capabilities.

All of our products benefit from the experience we have gained in the design of keyboards and panels for the most demanding military environments. We carry these techniques across into all our units, ensuring our keyboards are as rugged and reliable as possible.

We can also offer a range of full-travel tactile key movements that far exceed the soft and uncertain feel of lesser designs.

Our clients consistently tell us that it is important we can integrate higher levels of functionality beyond that of a simple illuminated keyboard. Rotary encoders, switches, annunciators and a host of other control devices can be combined into a single multi-function system solution.

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Matt Black Systems offers the following range of capabilities...


  • Standard qwerty keyboard layouts, as well as bespoke designs, auxiliary keyboard units (AKUs) and number pads.

  • Illumination provided from LED or electro-luminescent (EL) sources, designed in accordance with SAE AS-7788 (formerly MIL-P-7788).

  • Night Vision (NVIS/NVG) compatibility conforming to MIL-STD-3009 and other special requirements.

  • Dimmable backlighting.

  • Trackerball, joystick and mouse controller integration.

  • Environmental protection to RTCA/DO-160, IP, NEMA and NBC standards.

  • Fully immersible designs available.

  • Standard USB, PS/2, RS422 and RS232 interfaces available.

  • Bespoke interface and connector requirements including to military standards such as MIL-C-38999.

  • Design to bespoke supply voltages if required.

  • Typical reliability of 1,000,000 operations per key.

  • In-house laser etching allows wide flexibility of hard-wearing key legends, including Cyrillic text, among others.

  • Sunlight readability available to MIL-22885.

  • Wipe-clean layouts available.

  • Refurbishment and conversion service available.

Matt Black Systems illuminated keyboards and data entry devices have proved themselves in the most stringent environments and are currently in service on such diverse systems as Sea King helicopters, Type 23 Frigates, BAE Systems Hawk aircraft, EH101 and Puma helicopters, ground forces laser designators and the Hawker HS125 business jet.

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