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F-35 Lightning II News

Israel and US to make helmets for the F-35 Lightning II

October 17, 2013 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The Israeli company Elbit Systems and its partner in the United States, Rockwell Collins, were chosen by the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin to make helmets for the F-35 Lightning II.

3rd MAW's first F-35B 168717 piloted by F-35 pilot instructor Maj. A. C. Liberman blasts on November 16th, 2012 at approximately 13:00hrs at the MCAS Yuma flightline. [USMC photo by LCpl. William Waterstreet]

The new helmet, which is to be manufactured in the United States, is capable of putting flight data as well as data about weapons systems and intelligence before the pilot’s eyes. It will be delivered as a standard with every F-35 purchased around the world from 2016.

The helmet allows the pilot to see real-time imagery from six infrared cameras mounted around the aircraft, including on its nose. This allows the pilot to 'see through' the front of the plane and is very helpful in dogfights and in bombing targets on the ground. It also features an improved night vision camera, new liquid crystal displays, automated alignment, and software enhancements.

Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the F-35, said that it decided to halt development on an “alternate helmet” and focus exclusively on the one that will be produced by Elbit Systems and Rockwell Collins.

State-owned Israel Military Industries is already part of the F-35 project.

Additional images:

Jon Beelsey ready to go for the 10th test flight, the first flight with the Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS). [Photo courtesy of Rockwell Collins Inc.]

The F-35 Lightning II cockpit does away with most switches and gagues in favor of two 8"x10" advanced LCD touchscreens. With the addition of the Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) to the F-35 system, there is no need for a conventional Heads Up Display (HUD) on the glare shield in the cockpit. [LMTAS photo]