Israel’s Elbit Systems and US defense firm Rockwell Collins welcomed on Saturday
a decision by the Pentagon to go ahead with their jointly developed helmet
mounted display system (HMDS) and include it with all F-35 fighter
In a statement, Kelly Ortberg, chief executive-officer and
president of Rockwell Collins, said that the decision “validates the significant
achievement” by the development team that produced the helmet, which she said
“provides unprecedented situational awareness capabilities in support of the
“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,” Ortberg
Bezhalel Machlis, president and CEO of Elbit Systems, added, “We
appreciate the confidence and support of the [Pentagon’s] F-35 Joint Program
Office and Lockheed Martin leading to this decision. 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
The Israeli and American companies stated that the HMDS
project all information F-35 pilots need to their helmet’s visor. It features an
enhanced nightvision camera, liquid-crystal displays, automated alignment and
The helmet will also show pilots real-time images
from six infrared cameras on board the aircraft, allowing the pilots to “look
through” the air frame, the companies added.
The Pentagon said on
Thursday it would halt work on a second pilot helmet being developed for the
F-35 fighter jet by Britain’s BAE Systems and focus exclusively on the main
helmet built by Rockwell Collins and Elbit Systems.
The Pentagon’s F-35
program office said the move followed improvements to the Rockwell-Elbit helmet,
including a better night vision camera, and would save about $45 million in
funding that would have been needed to finish the BAE helmet.
said the move amounted to a vote of confidence in the main helmet and efforts to
resolve earlier problems.Reuters contributed to this report.