U.S. Navy recently began F/A-18E/F Super Hornet flight testing of the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS), technology that allows airplane crews to aim weapons and sensors by looking at targets.
The United States will install JHMCS on U.S. Air Force F-15, F-16 and F-22 fighters as well as the Super Hornet. A Boeing-Vision Systems International team is developing JHMCS. The U.S. Joint Program Office at Ohio's Wright-Patterson Air Force Base oversees the program.
"I expect good results on the Super Hornet, just as we achieved on other airplanes," said Boeing JHMCS program manager Steve Winkler. "U.S. and allied crews that use JHMCS will set remarkable new standards of combat effectiveness."
Three Super Hornet JHMCS flights have occurred, with about 10 more planned. Flight testing on the Super Hornet occurs primarily at Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif.
The Navy last year placed an initial JHMCS order for its Boeing-built Super Hornets. Later this year, Boeing will begin delivering those systems. Also later this year, JHMCS will have its first flight test on an F-16.
JHMCS allows users to track and attack targets more quickly than enemies that don't have the capabilities it provides, greatly increasing combat effectiveness.
It does so by synchronizing aircraft sensors with the user's head movements so they automatically point where the pilot looks, and displaying flight information on the inside of the helmet visor so data is always in view. When tied to a high off-boresight weapon like the AIM-9X missile, JHMCS allows a crew to attack airborne targets at extreme angles from their aircraft without having to maneuver into line with the target.