Warplanes: JHMCS For Two

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May 24, 2007: The latest version of the U.S. JHMCS ( Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems), has been modified so that both pilots, in a two seater fighter, can also share information. This is being used in the two-seat F-18F. Over the last seven years, the U.S. Air Force and Navy have bought several thousand JHMCS systems for F-16s, F-18s and F-15s. A similar system will be used by F-22 and F-35 pilots.

JHMCS allows a pilot to see displayed on his visor, critical flight and navigation information. Sort of like a see-through computer monitor or Head Up Display. Most importantly, the pilot can turn his head towards a target, get an enemy aircraft into the crosshairs displayed on the visor, and fire a missile that will promptly go after target the pilot was looking at. There is an additional advantage in letting the pilot look around more often without having to look down at cockpit displays, or straight ahead at a HUD (Head Up Display.) This kind of freedom gives an experienced pilot an extra edge in finding enemy aircraft or targets, and maneuvering to get into a better position for attacks. JHMCS is also useful for air to ground attacks.

Systems like JHMCS have been around for over a decade, but JHMCS is lighter and easier to wear (weight was a major problem in the past), easier to use and more reliable. The Israelis firm Elbit took the lead in developing this technology, and made many technical breakthroughs with their earlier DASH (Display and Sight Helmet) system. Elbit teamed up with American firms to develop and market JHMCS, which is largely an improved DASH system.

 


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