Israel is to equip its air force's Eurocopter AS565SA "Atalef" helicopter pilots with advanced helmet-mounted sights, with a system selection expected to be made soon, after tests have been completed in various flight conditions.
Israeli air force
Operated by the "Defenders of the West" squadron from Ramat-David air base in northern Israel, the service's AS565s will be the last of its helicopters to gain such equipment, as its Sikorsky CH-53 and UH-60 Black Hawk pilots already use helmet-mounted sights.
The addition of the new equipment for the Atalef fleet will facilitate the integration of the Saar 5 missile corvette-deployed type during maritime operations also involving the air force's Israel Aerospace Industries Heron 1 unmanned air systems.
Increasing the capability of the manned helicopters comes as Israel maintains a mission to defend large oil and gas reservoirs discovered in the Mediterranean Sea, off the nation's coastline.
These are being prepared for commercial use in the face of what the nation describes as a constant and imminent threat.