The Boeing Company has received a $10.4 million contract to begin low-rate initial production for the
U.S. Navy of its
Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS).
The Navy will receive 37 of the systems by 2002 for use on its Boeing-built F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. The U.S. Air Force is also expected to have follow-on production contracts of JHMCS, which will be used on its F-15, F-16 and F-22 aircraft.
The JHMCS Joint Program Office, based at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, manages the program for all customers.
"Entering low-rate production is a tribute to the dedicated efforts of people in the Air Force, Navy and on our contractor team," said Boeing JHMCS Program Manager Stephen Winkler. "This system increases a pilot's combat effectiveness while reducing his or her workload. Together those should make for even greater mission success rates."
The lightweight JHMCS combines a magnetic head tracker with a display projected onto the pilot's visor, allowing the pilot to aim sensors and weapons wherever he or she is looking. The pilot will be able to aim radar, air-to-air missiles, infrared sensors, and air-to-ground weapons by looking at the target and pressing a switch. Additionally, the pilot will be able to view data such as airspeed and altitude without having to look at displays in the cockpit.
Boeing, the world's largest aircraft manufacturer, is the system's primary integrator. Vision Systems International, based in San Jose, Calif., manufactures the helmet system.