F-35 fighter pilots will soon be sporting helmets made by an Israeli company but manufactured in the U.S., the Inquisitr reported on Oct. 13.
The F-35 fighter is considered the most sophisticated warplane in the world — and the most expensive military program in history, according to the Union Leader.
Pilots on the F-35 fighter wear a high-tech helmet that fuses data from the stealth fighter jet’s cameras and sensors in the visor, which essentially allows a pilot to see through the wings and floor of the F-35.
News that an Israeli company would be making the F-35 fighter helmets garnered widespread attention on Sunday when Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in Jerusalem apparently released a statement about the contract. According to the statement, Elbit Systems, an Israeli company, and its U.S. partner, Rockwell Collins, have been chosen by the Pentagon and F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin to supply helmets for the next generation of the F-35 fighter, it was reported in Yahoo News.
Rockwell Collins and Elbit Systems welcomed the news about the F-35 fighter helmets. "This decision validates the significant achievement by the Rockwell Collins Elbit Systems of America Vision Systems team in delivering next generation technology that provides unprecedented situational awareness capabilities in support of the F-35 program," Kelly Ortberg, chief executive officer and president of Rockwell Collins, said in a statement.
The F-35 fighter helmet is called the Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS). The Gen 3 helmet, which will include an improved night vision camera, new liquid-crystal displays, automated alignment and software improvements, is to be introduced to the fleet in low rate initial production Lot 7 in 2016, the statement said.