Military Embedded Systems

Helmet-mounted displays for F-16 pilots garner contract win for Thales


May 12, 2022

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jorge Intriago/Released

PARIS. Defense and aerospace contractor Thales has received an initial order to supply U.S. Air National Guard F-16 pilots with Scorpion helmet-mounted displays (HMD), under an agreement that will subsequently make the system available to NATO forces.

Under the terms of the contract, the Air National Guard will be supplied with Scorpion retrofit kits for its fleet of F-16 block 40 and 50 aircraft; the retrofit kits will replace the current Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) .

According to the Thales announcement, the Scorpion digital platform offers pilots enhanced situational awareness as it sports full-color symbology, zero-perceived latency, and a single display for both day and night operations at lower cost over the life of the system. Additionally, Thales officials say, the Scorpion platform has improved motion-tracking accuracy compared with the JHMCS with the introduction of Scorpion’s precision Hybrid Optically-based Inertial Tracker (HObIT).

When complete, Scorpion will become the common HMD solution for the Air National Guard and U.S. Air Force Reserve’s fleet of F-16 block 30/40/50 aircraft; the contract will also enable NATO countries to order the Scorpion and all accompanying equipment needed to replace the outdated JHMCS HMD without the need for platform modifications.

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