You will never guess what’s inside the latest helmet worn by our fighter pilots in the IAF.
So much more than just a helmet, this wearable piece of tech has undergone numerous upgrades since it was first introduced to our pilots in 1980. Captain R., an F-16I fighter pilot in the Orange Tailed Knights Squadron, offers an exclusive tour inside the helmet worn by these elite soldiers of the sky.
Advanced Screen Display System
Apart from the basics, like goggles, radio, oxygen mask and a power unit, the classic fighter helmet has been revamped to include a projector, which beams real-time intel and data directly into the pilot’s shades. With his/her right eye, the pilot can easily track information such as altitude, coordinates and radar signals. In addition, the pilot receives queuing info on a target they are focused on.
Built-In Camera Feature
In addition to the projector, each helmet comes equipped with a high-definition action camera. Consistently recording the pilot’s and the aircraft’s every move from takeoff to landing, the camera is the ideal learning tool. “We use the camera for in-depth debriefing, to learn what went well and what could be improved for the next time,” explains Captain R.
The helmets fit like a glove, as they are custom-made for each fighter pilot. However, they don’t come light. While each weighs 6 kg in normal conditions, “at high g-force, the helmet can weigh some 9 times its normal weight.” But for the F-16I aircraft, which offers precision targeting but is less maneuverable, the helmet is ideal.
With the ultimate helmet that doubles as a camera and a comprehensive display screen, our pilots are taking their flights to a whole new level. And when you’re zooming at Mach 2 or roughly twice the speed of sound—you’ll want to take this cutting-edge gear along for the ride.