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Pentagon to manufacture Israeli-developed helmet for fighter pilots

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(JTA) — The Pentagon will manufacture a pilot helmet for F-35 fighter jets co-developed by Elbit Systems, an Israeli company.

The Pentagon’s F-35 program made the announcement late last week, saying it would stop development on a second helmet developed by a British company in order to focus exclusively on perfecting the Rockwell Collins Elbit Systems of America Vision Systems Generation 2, or Gen 2, helmet.

“The government’s decision to proceed exclusively with the principal helmet is indicative of their confidence in the helmet’s performance and the successful resolution of previously identified technical challenges,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin’s executive vice president and general manager of the F-35 Lightning II Program. “To date, more than 100 F-35 pilots have flown more than 6,000 flights and 10,000 hours with the helmet, and their feedback has been very positive.”

The helmet provides pilots with the information needed to complete their missions projected on the helmet’s visor, and also streams real-time imagery from six infrared cameras mounted around the aircraft to the helmet, according to a statement from Lockheed Martin.

The F-35 program will introduce a Gen 3 helmet that features an improved night vision camera, new liquid crystal displays, automated alignment and software enhancements, the statement said.

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