The US Special Operations Command's Lockheed Martin AC-130W crews are to be equipped with the joint helmet-mounted cueing system (JHMCS), in the first application for the design on a transport platform.

Announced by Elbit Systems, the integration activity will be performed over the next two years as part of a wider effort to update the capabilities of the armed AC-130W "Stinger II" for the close air support role and other duties.

“The JHMCS II system features the most innovative head-tracking technologies available, giving a pilot increased situational awareness no matter what direction he or she is looking,” says Elbit Systems of America president and chief executive Raanan Horowitz. “The intelligent vision in the cockpit gives pilots immediate and accurate recognition of friendly, threat, and unknown targets. With this awareness, AC-130 pilots flying with the JHMCS II will have a decided advantage.”

Produced under a Vision Systems International joint venture also including Rockwell Collins, JHMCS II incorporates colour symbology in both day and night modes, plus visor-projected video. The helmet technology has so far been introduced with a number of fast-jet combat aircraft for the US military.

Flightglobal's Ascend Fleets database records 12 AC-130Ws as being in active service.