Boeing is responding to a US Marine Corps request for proposals to install the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) in both cockpits of its night-attack F/A-18D Hornets. The USAir Force, meanwhile, has awarded Boeing a contract to integrate a helmet-mounted cueing system into the F-15E Eagle to expand its strike role.
Planned JHMCS applications are all single-cockpit and primarily for the air-to-air role, to allow targeting of the Raytheon AIM-9X short-range missile at high off-boresight angles. But during testing of the helmet-mounted display, the system's ability to cue and target air-to-ground sensors and weapons was evaluated by pilots.
As a result, the USMC wants to install the system in its late-model F/A-18Ds, says Boeing JHMCS programme manager Steve Winkler. "The system has great utility in the air-to-ground role, for slewing infrared sensors and precision-guided munitions."
Boeing is JHMCS prime contractor and is integrating the system on the F-15, F/A-18, Lockheed Martin F-16 and eventually the Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor. The first flight in an F-16 was on 31 July and the first production system was flown on 29 August, in an F/A-18F Super Hornet. The JHMCS is produced by Vision Systems International.
USAir Force plans call for 240 F-15Cs and 650 Block 40/50 F-16C/Ds to be equipped with the JHMCS. The US Navy will install the system in most of the 548 planned F/A-18E/Fs.
The F-15E contract is a technology development effort involving Boeing's Phantom Works. Under the Strike Helmet 21 programme, the company will integrate a helmet-mounting cueing system enabling the crew to attack multiple targets per pass using onboard and off-board information displayed on the helmet.
Source: Flight International