Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: JHMCS II/h and Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System
Origin: United States of America
Boeing* and Vision Systems International (*) lead contractor
Parent System: JHMCS
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2002
Total Production: 3,348
Total Cost: USD$590 million
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Description: The Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System displays targeting information on the helmet visor to allow pilots to lock-on and attack air-to-air (JHMCS+AIM-9X) and air-to-ground targets anywhere with ease. JHMCS also displays aircraft altitude, airspeed, g's and angle of attack on the visor, as well as tactical information, to increase the crew member's awareness of the state of the aircraft and the combat situation.
The systems gives flight crew members the ability to rapidly acquire and designate a target simply by looking at it. By putting an aiming cross, which is projected on the helmet visor, over the desired target and pressing a button, the pilot can quickly and easily aim the weapons and sensors to designate and attack airborne or ground targets. This not only makes the aircraft more lethal, it also reduces the time it is exposed to potential enemy fire.
The JHMCS has been integrated into the F-16, F-15, F/A-18 and F/A-22 aircraft. It saw combat for the first time in 2003 during operation Iraqi Freedom in the forward cockpit of US aircraft. The United States and allied nations through FMS have selected the JHMCS for their fighter aircraft.
On June 11, 2004, the US Department of Defense awarded Boeing a $86 million contract for first full-rate production lot of JHMCS. The lot includes more than 250 cueing systems for the United States and four international customers with deliveries due to begin in March 2005. Current estimates suggest that the total number of JHMCS to be ordered will excess 2,000 units.
In early 2005, Boeing began testing of the JHMCS into the aft cockpit of the US Navy's F/A-18D/F Hornet. Both pilot and weapon systems operator equipped with JHMCS will represent a significant increase in combat effectiveness and survivability.
On June 3, 2005, the Pentagon awarded Boeing the second full rate production contract covering 401 JHMCS valued at $82 million and to be complete by December 2007. This contract will provide the JHMCS to the US Air Force (F-15 and F-16), the US Navy (F/A-18) and foreign military sales (FMS) countries. The FMS countries were Poland, Finland, Australia (Royal Australian Air Force), Switzerland and Oman.
In November 2005 Boeing started flight testing at Naval Air Warfare Center China Lake, California, of the JHMCS integrated with the aft cockpit on the F/A-18F fighter aircraft. Integration work on a twin-seat F/A-18 began in January 2005 on an F/A-18D. Super Hornet's weapon systems officers (aft seat) are expected to receive the JHMCS capability beginning in late summer 2006.
In February 2006 Boeing was awarded the third JHMCS full rate production contract valued at $97 million on behalf of the United States Air Force F-15 and F-16, US Navy F/A-18, Turkish F-16C, Dutch F-16, Polish F-16C, Australian F/A-18, Swiss F/A-18, and Canadian F/A-18 aircraft.
Boeing delivered the first JHMCS to Australia in August 2006, Swiss JHMCS-equipped F/A-18 first flight took place in May, Finland's F/A-18 did it in June and Canadian F/A-18s are expected to fly with the JHMCS in September 2006.
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