Rockwell Collins and Elbit Systems of America responded today to Thursday's announcement that the F-35 Joint Program Office will focus exclusively on maturing their joint venture's Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS).
"This decision validates the significant achievement by the Rockwell Collins Elbit Systems of America Vision Systems team in delivering next generation technology that provides unprecedented situational awareness capabilities in support of the F-35 program," said Kelly Ortberg, Chief Executive Officer and President, Rockwell Collins. "We're looking forward to the continued development and production of the third generation F-35 HMDS, which will offer even greater capabilities while reducing overall cost for this critical program."
"We appreciate the confidence and support of the F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin leading to this decision," said Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems. "The F-35 HMDS leverages tremendous innovation, technology base and experience gained by Elbit Systems and Rockwell Collins through nearly two decades of collaborating in development, production and fielding of thousands of advanced helmets for fighter aircraft. Elbit Systems is committed to the success of the F-35 program, providing the warfighter with an effective and affordable 5th generation fighter helmet mounted display solution."
The Gen 3 helmet, which will include an improved night vision camera, new liquid-crystal displays, automated alignment and software improvements is to be introduced to the fleet in low rate initial production Lot 7 in 2016. Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems LLC also developed the Gen 2 helmet that F-35 pilots currently use, which will meet the needs for the U.S. Marine Corps to declare Initial Operational Capability in July 2015.
The F-35 HMDS provides pilots with unprecedented situational awareness. All the information that pilots need to complete their missions – through all weather, day or night – is projected on the helmet's visor. Additionally, the F-35's Distributed Aperture System (DAS) streams real-time imagery from six infrared cameras mounted around the aircraft to the helmet, allowing pilots to "look through" the airframe.
Source: Rockwell Collins
Date: Oct 11, 2013