Efforts to demonstrate the Visionix Scorpion helmet-mounted cueing system on the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor are among the casualties of the automatic "sequestration" budget cuts imposed by the US Congress.
Later this year, the USAF was hoping to demonstrate the full-colour paddle display on the stealthy fifth-generation fighter. The display would be needed to take full advantage of the Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder high off-boresight missile that is scheduled to be fully integrated onto the Raptor by 2017.
"The Visionix / Gentex Scorpion helmet-mounting cueing system demo planned for this summer, which was planned as a technology demonstration, was cancelled as a result of sequestration budgetary actions," the USAF says. "This system had not been programmed for integration into the aircraft and there are no immediate plans to integrate the Scorpion system into the F-22."
F-22 pilots have long argued that without a helmet-mounted sight and associated missiles, they can be vulnerable in a close in visual range encounter against an enemy equipped with such systems.