Digital eye piece enhances situational awareness for F-16 pilots

FORT WORTH, Texas, 14 Sept. 2016. As the F-16 evolves, so does the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) from Rockwell Collins with technology from Elbit Systems of America LLC, maker of aircraft helmet-mounted displays (HUDs) and situational awareness systems in Fort Worth, Texas. Engineers at Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems LLC (RCEVS), a joint venture of Rockwell Collins and Elbit Systems of America, in Fort Worth, Texas, are introducing the JHMCS Digital Eye Piece (DEP), providing pilots the same cueing and display symbology used in the daytime while using night-vision devices.

Sep 14th, 2016
Elbit Systems Digital Eye Piece add-on transforms existing HMDs, NVGs into night-vision smart helmets
Elbit Systems Digital Eye Piece add-on transforms existing HMDs, NVGs into night-vision smart helmets

FORT WORTH, Texas, 14 Sept. 2016. As the F-16 evolves, so does the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) from Rockwell Collins with technology from Elbit Systems of America LLC, maker of aircraft helmet-mounted displays (HUDs) and situational awareness systems in Fort Worth, Texas. Engineers at Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems LLC (RCEVS), a joint venture of Rockwell Collins and Elbit Systems of America, in Fort Worth, Texas, are introducing the JHMCS Digital Eye Piece (DEP), providing pilots the same cueing and display symbology used in the daytime while using night-vision devices.

The DEP attaches to existing JHMCS HMDs with no required aircraft modifications and gives pilots the ability to transition from day to night or night to day simply and quickly, either before flight or while airborne.

Elbit Systems of America has, for more than 20 years, integrated various advanced systems into the F-16 and JHMCS through its RCEVS joint venture with Rockwell Collins, the main provider of Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS) and HMDs worldwide.

The HMD solutions provide accurate cueing of targeting systems and tactical information wherever pilots look versus the field of view limitations of a traditional HUD -- part of what keeps the F-16 relevant on today's battlefield, officials explain.

"The combat proven and robust design of the JHMCS makes our HMD the global solution of choice for F-16 pilots. Currently, over 20 countries are flying F-16 fighter aircraft equipped with Elbit Systems of America's JHMCS capabilities,” says Chris Hickey, vice president sustainment and support of Elbit Systems of America.

Elbit Systems of America also offers logistics, sustainment, modernization, and upgrade solutions to domestic and international F-16 fleets. One improvement of note is the reliability and maintainability upgrade to the aircraft's Wide Angle Conventional Head-Up Display (WAC HUD) and Diffractive Optical Holographic (DOH) HUDs. Each HUD takes critical flight and mission data normally displayed inside the cockpit instrument panel and projects the information on a transparent surface directly in front of the pilot. The total system provides pilots a sharper image when conducting targeting operations.

"We have delivered over 1200 F-16 HUD reliability and maintainability upgrades and, as systems evolve, Elbit Systems of America provides trusted sustainment and support solutions to customers worldwide," Hickey continues. Currently, Elbit Systems of America's reliability and maintainability upgraded HUD is approved for use on F-16 Blocks 30, 40, and 50.

Elbit Systems of America and Rockwell Collins executives and engineers are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems LLC (RCEVS), the companies’ helmet-mounted display (HMD) joint venture.

"Today we celebrate the partnership of two of the world's top avionics systems providers," says Elbit Systemsof America's President and Chief Executive Officer Raanan Horowitz. "The incredible synergy created by this combination has resulted in RCEVS becoming the worldwide leader in HMD solutions for military fixed-wing aircraft."

Since forming the joint venture in 1996 to provide HMDs for fixed-wing military aircraft, RCEVS has delivered thousands of Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) HMDs across the world for F-15, F-16, and F/A-18 advanced cockpits.

RCEVS' success with JHMCS led to its selection as HMD provider for F-35 with hundreds of systems delivered to date. The F-35 HMD gives F-35 pilots unsurpassed situational awareness by displaying critical flight information and sensor video throughout the entire mission. The HMD serves as the virtual head-up display (HUD), enabling the F-35 to become the first tactical fighter in 50 years without a traditional HUD.

"Over the course of the past two decades we've witnessed significant changes in our industry and dramatic technological advancements that are evolving the future of flight," says Phil Jasper, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Government Systems for Rockwell Collins. "But the one constant that has remained in our partnership with Elbit is our shared purpose to help pilots around the world be successful in their missions."

The RCEVS HMD is the primary pilot interface to the complex F-35 weapon system and is included on every F-35. To date, hundreds have been delivered to F-35 prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, for use by multiple countries. RCEVS continues to work closely with Lockheed Martin and the F-35 users to improve the F-35 HMDS features, including weight reductions, processing enhancement and reliability improvement.

RCEVS JHMCS HMDs are flying with more than 20 air forces around the world. These provide accurate cueing of targeting systems wherever the pilot looks versus the traditional HUD which is limited to a narrow cone of forward aiming.

RCEVS continues to advance the utility of HMD systems with significant investment to improve key features. The JHMCS family of helmets now includes the Digital JHMCS (DJHMCS), currently delivered on Boeing F-15s, with a digital display, improved weight distribution for pilot comfort and better reliability, while maintaining 100 percent aircraft compatibility.

The JHMCS II version has been developed for new or upgraded aircraft that do not have JHMCS. It reduces aircraft installation impacts while taking advantage of DJHMCS digital display and better balance. JHMCS II is now the baseline for Lockheed Martin F-16 upgrades. RCEVS has also developed night cueing upgrades which are currently operational with several air forces.

Elbit Systems of America is a provider of high-performance products, system solutions, and support services focusing on the commercial aviation, defense, homeland security, cyber security, and medical instrumentation markets. With facilities throughout the United States, Elbit Systems of America is dedicated to supporting those who contribute daily to the safety and security of the United States. Elbit Systems of America LLC is wholly owned by Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ:ESLT), a global electronics company engaged in a wide range of programs for innovative defense and commercial applications.

Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international high-technology company engaged in a wide range of defense, homeland security and commercial programs throughout the world. The company, which includes Elbit Systems and its subsidiaries, operates in the areas of aerospace, land and naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR), unmanned aircraft systems, advanced electro-optics, electro-optic space systems, EW suites, signal intelligence systems, data links and communications systems, radios and cyber-based systems. The company also focuses on the upgrading of existing platforms, developing new technologies for defense, homeland security and commercial applications and providing a range of support services, including training and simulation systems.

Search the Aerospace & Defense Buyer's Guide


You might also like:

  • Avionics
  • Satellite and Space
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
  • Air Traffic Control (ATC)
  • Engineering design, development, and test
  • Maintenance, repair, and overhaul
  • Subscribe today to receive all the latest aerospace technology and engineering news, delivered directly to your e-mail inbox twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays). Sign upfor your free subscription to the Intelligent Inbox e-newsletter at http://www.intelligent-aerospace.com/subscribe.html.

    Connect with Intelligent Aerospace on social media: Twitter (@IntelligentAero), LinkedIn,Google+, and Instagram.


    Intelligent Aerospace
    Global Aerospace Technology Network

    Intelligent Aerospace, the global aerospace technology network, reports on the latest tools, technologies, and trends of vital importance to aerospace professionals involved in air traffic control, airport operations, satellites and space, and commercial and military avionics on fixed-wing, rotor-wing, and unmanned aircraft throughout the world.

    More in Avionics