The Boeing Company, the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy successfully demonstrated the
Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) recently on an F-15 test aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and an F/A-18 test aircraft at the Naval Air Warfare Center -- China Lake, Calif. The F-15 test flight was completed on Oct. 22 and lasted 1.2 hours. The test involved 11 test passes and 56 target acquisitions utilizing the JHMCS in conjunction with aircraft sensors. The F/A-18 test flight was completed on Nov. 2 and lasted 1.7 hours. It examined fit and comfort issues, display stability during high-G maneuvers, and accuracy of the magnetic head tracker.
The system will allow pilots to lock on and fire at enemy aircraft without having to maneuver their aircraft into position. The pilot need only point his/her head at the target, and weapons will be directed where the pilot is looking. Targeting cues and aircraft parameters are displayed on the pilot's visor. The system is designed to be compatible with all air-to-air missiles, especially the new AIM-9X upgraded Sidewinder missile.
The JHMCS is a joint Boeing, Lockheed, Air Force and Navy program designed to be installed on a variety of platforms including the F-15, F-16, F/A-18 and F-22. The Joint Strike Fighter program also is considering the system.
The prime subcontractor is Vision Systems International. Vision Systems International is a joint venture between Elbit Systems Limited, which has designed a similar system for the Israel air force, and Kaiser Electronics of San Jose, Calif. Elbit Systems Limited is located in Haifa, Israel.
Flight testing will continue on both the Air Force F-15 and Navy F/A-18 for 14 months.