October 18, 2007 Boeing has delivered the first factory-installed, dual-cockpit F/A-18F Super Hornet Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) to the U.S. Navy. The system allows the flight crew to rapidly acquire and and the new two-seat variant extends this capability to both crew members.
The dual-cockpit JHMCS also provides a visual indication of where each crew member is looking and displays tactical information, aircraft altitude, airspeed, gravitational pull and angle of attack on the visor to increase the crew members' situational awareness.
Boeing delivered the enhanced aircraft to the VX-9 Vampires of Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, Calif., and is scheduled to deliver 77 of the two-seat JHMCS-equipped aircraft to the U.S. Navy over the next three years.
Warfighters used the JHMCS operationally for the first time during Operation Iraqi Freedom. By placing an aiming cross, projected on the helmet visor, over the desired target and pressing a button, pilots can quickly and easily aim weapons and sensors to designate and attack airborne or ground targets.
The inclusion of JHMCS in the aft seat of two-seat aircraft gives the weapons system officer the same weapons management capabilities as the pilot. The system vastly reduces the amount of required verbal discussion and improves the ability to react rapidly to targets and/or threats that are visually detected by either crew member.