JHMCS: Fighter Pilots’ “Look & Shoot” Helmets Changing Aerial Warfare
August 14/15: On Thursday the Navy handed M. C. Dean Inc and Honeywell Technology Solutions two multiple-award contracts totalling $1.66 billion for the installation and certification of C4ISR systems, while Rockwell Collins-ESA Vision Systems was handed a $20.9 million contract for 120 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) Night Vision Cueing and Display (NVCD ) systems.
In the 1970s, fighter aircraft began to appear with Head-Up Displays (HUD) that projected key information, targeting crosshairs etc. onto a seemingly clear piece of glass. HUDs allowed pilots to keep their eyes in the sky, instead of looking down at their instruments. In the 1990s, another innovation appeared: helmet-mounted displays (HMDs) put the HUD inside the pilot’s helmet, providing this information even when the pilot wasn’t looking straight ahead. The Israelis were already pioneering a system called DASH (Display And Sight Helmet) when a set of former East German MiG-29s, equipped with Soviet HMDs, slaughtered USAF F-16s in NATO exercises. Suddenly, helmet-mounted displays became must-haves for modern fighters – and a key partnership positioned Elbit to take DASH to the next level.
This DID Spotlight article offers insights into the rocky past, successful present, and competitive future of a program that has experienced its share of snags and controversy – but went on to become the #1 helmet-mounted sight in the world. It also details the game-changing effects of Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems on air combat, its production sets and known customers, and all contracts since full-rate production began.
JHMCS: A Combat Multiplier
The HMD Revolution
JHMCS Improvements & Upgrades
JHMCS: The Program to Date
JHMCS: FRP Contracts & Key Events
FY 2010 – 2011
FY 2008 – 2009
FY 2006 – 2007
FY 2004 – 2005
Appendix A: JHMCS History & Challenges
Additional Readings & Sources
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