$82M for Helmet Mounted Fighter Displays
Boeing Co. in St Louis MO is being awarded an $82 million contract modification for full rate production of the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) for the USAF F-15, and F-16, the Navy F/A-18 platforms, and foreign military sales to Australia, Finland, Oman, Poland, and Switzerland.
The JHMCS system is provided to Boeing by Vision Systems International, LLC, a joint venture between Elbit Systems Ltd. Subsidiary EFW Inc. and Rockwell Collins. VSI is also working on the more advanced HMDS system for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The U.S. Dept. of Defense release also notes that “the following period of FY 2005, FY06 and FY07, Matrix Prices were negotiated and will be placed on the contract via medication.”
The JHMCS works day or night, in air-air or in air-ground mode, combining a magnetic head tracker with a display projected onto the pilot’s visor, giving the pilot a targeting device that can be used to aim sensors and weapons wherever the pilot is looking. With JHMCS, the pilot can aim the radar, air-to-air missiles, infrared sensors, and air-to-ground weapons merely by pointing his/her head at the target and pressing a switch on the flight controls.
This provides pilots with a warfare-changing “first look, first shot” capability when employed with “high off-boresight” short-range air-air missiles that have a wide sighting cone – like the Israeli Python 4, American AIM-9X Sidewinder, or other 4th generation short-range air-air missiles. Additionally, the pilot can view any desired data (airspeed, altitude, target range, etc.) while “heads-up”, eliminating the need to look into the cockpit during visual air combat.
JHMCS is also highly effective when used in air-to-ground target engagements, and was used extensively in this manner in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Work on this contract will be complete December 2007. The Air Force Material Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, issued the contract (F33657-01-D-0026, F33657-01-D-0028).