Deliveries of the US Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS), developed by the Kaiser/Elbit joint venture Vision Systems International (VSI), are to begin within a year. It follows an award of a low-rate initial production contract for the first batch of 36 systems to equip US Navy Boeing F/A-18E/Fs.
The first JHMCSs for USAF Boeing F-15s and Lockheed Martin F-16s will be procured in April, as part of an order for 100-120 units, to include 55 for new Greek F-16C/Ds and, potentially, systems for an international F/A-18 operator.
Small numbers of JHMCSs have already been bought for integration testing by Belgium and the Netherlands, and Denmark has placed a direct commercial contract with VSI for production systems for its F-16s.
The USA plans to buy around 2,000 systems for the F-15C, F-16C/D Block 40/50, FA-E/F and F-22. The helmet will be used to cue the Raytheon AIM-9X short-range air-to-air missile as well as air-to-ground sensors.
The US Air National Guard, although it is to receive AIM-9Xs, is not budgeted for the JHMCS and is advocating the purchase of systems for its F-16C/D Block 25/30s. The USN does not plan to put the JHMCS in its AIM-9X-armed F/A-18C/Ds, but the US Marine Corps is interested in the system for its F/A-18Ds.
Source: Flight International