SEOUL AIR SHOW: Is that a new F-15 helmet?

jhmcs II.jpgSouth Korea is the first country to see a next-generation helmet-mounted cuing system (JHMCS) for the Boeing F-15. It will be offered to the Republic of Korea Air Force with the F-15SE Silent Eagle for the F-XIII contract.

The Elbit Systems-Rockwell Collins joint venture VSI unveiled the JHMCS II at the Seoul Air Show this week. It adds a full-colour display to the original helmet, a feature already developed for armed helicopters such as the Boeing AH-64 Apache. For night operations, the visor would be replaced with a modular, snap-on night vision goggle (NVG) that preserves the full-colour symbology.  JHMCS II also replaces a bulky and sometimes uncomfortable cable with a very thin wire.

VSI also produces a more advanced helmet-mounted display with integrated night vision for the Lockheed Martin F-35. The F-35 helmet is not only a weapons-cueing system, but also replaces the head-up display (HUD). But development glitches, including a blurry screen in night vision mode, have raised concerns. The Government Accountability Office has warned the F-35 cockpit may need to be redesigned with a HUD if the helmet display problems can’t be fixed. Meanwhile, Lockheed has selected BAE Systems to produce an alternative helmet mounted display with a goggle for night vision.

Boeing and VSI have decided not to attempt to replace the HUD with JHMCS II for the Boeing F-15 Silent Eagle. Nor are Boeing and VSI offering an integrated night vision display. 


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