Israel develops key component of next-generation fighter jet

Thursday, April 26, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
The next-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter being developed to replace the current air forces of several Western powers will rely heavily on an Israeli-developed component - an advanced pilot's helmet that will do away the need for a traditional heads-up display.

Developed by Israel's Elbit Systems, the Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) will put all vital information regarding the aircraft in front of the pilot's eyes, allowing him or her to remain focused on the target, reported Israel21c.

Israel originally started developing the technology behind the HMDS in the early 1980s as part of its Lavi fighter jet project, which failed to get off the ground due to overwhelming American competition.

But the Israeli innovation will have a chance to shine when the F-35 goes into action in 2011 in the service of all branches of the US military. Britain, too, will make extensive use of the F-35, and Israel has already signaled its desire to acquire the aircraft.

Military analysts say the HMDS will give the F-35 a major advantage over its predecessors and foes as the first military plane in fifty years to not include a heads-up display to distract pilots.

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