SAN JOSE, Calif. --- Lockheed Martin Aerospace has awarded Vision Systems International (VSI) two additional phases in the development of the helmet mounted display system (HMDS) on the F-35. The contract will enable VSI to enhance the F-35 HMDS currently in production for the 5th generation Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.
"This award reaffirms the confidence that Lockheed Martin has in VSI to advance the fifth generation HMDS capabilities that are integral to the success of the F-35 program," said Drew Brugal , president of VSI.
The VSI team began working to mitigate display jitter affecting the display symbology, enhance the helmet system's night-vision performance capabilities, and incorporate the latest digital imaging sensor capabilities into the HMDS to improve night vision performance in March of 2011. Additionally, VSI has modified the current magnetic receiver unit (MRU) contained in the pilot's HMDS to detect both seat and aircraft vibration frequencies and filter them out in both the hardware and software contained in the HMDS display processor. "We have already tested this new MRU capability and proven that it works," said Dan Nash, Vice President of F-35 Programs at VSI.
To enhance night-vision performance capabilities, VSI is incorporating new digital night-vision sensors in both the fixed camera mounted in the cockpit and the helmet camera with the pilot's helmet mounted display (HMD). The resulting images will be sharper and more viewable at extremely low light levels.
"We have been receiving very positive feedback from both the System Development and Demonstration (SSD) and Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) pilots using the HMD system, and from those who participated in the successful catapult testing in early August and the shipboard Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) flight tests on the Wasp over a three-week period in October," Brugal said. Deliveries of the enhanced HMDS are scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2013.
Founded in 1996, VSI is a joint venture between Elbit Systems of America, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems Ltd. and Rockwell Collins VSI has produced more than 4,500 joint helmet mounted cueing systems (JHMCS) for the F-15, F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft. Additionally, VSI is under contract to deliver Night Vision Cueing and Display Systems (NVCD) to the US Air Force and Navy, and the Fifth Generation HMDS for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. VSI also produces the Targo HMDs for multiple aviation platforms including fighters, light attack, military airlift and trainers.