F-35 Fighter Helmets Developed by Israeli Company Elbit Systems

Monday, 14 Oct 2013 10:55 AM

By Michael Mullins

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F-35 fighter pilot helmets were developed in part by an Israeli company, the nation's Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon announced on Sunday.

The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin selected Elbit Systems, along with its U.S. partner Rockwell Collins, to assist with manufacturing the hi-tech helmets, the Agence France-Presse reported.

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"I congratulate Elbit Systems on becoming a partner in this global flagship project to produce the world's most advanced warplane," Yaalon said. "The choice of Elbit Systems to produce the pilots' helmets is a vote of confidence in Israel's defence industries and their people."

Elbit Systems, which is the largest non-government defense electronics company in Israel, was reportedly responsible for the helmet's design.

"The helmet allows the pilot to see images from the cameras on the plane, including on its nose. This allows the pilot to 'see through' the front of the plane and is very helpful in dogfights and in bombing targets on the ground," Lockheed Martin's website said. 
 "The new helmet, which is to be manufactured in the United States, is capable of putting flight data as well as data about weapons systems and intelligence before the pilot’s eyes."

The helmet will be used by pilots of America's most technologically advanced fighter jet, which has been described as a "fifth-generation" warplane that will replace the popular F-16 and more than a dozen other warplanes that are currently in use by foreign governments.

The fighter's jet, which started to be developed 10 years ago, is a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon that has cost $392 billion. It is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program ever, the Associated Press reported.

The program's original price tag was $233 billion, however, it ballooned reportedly as a result of delays brought on by cost overruns.

Due to its technological advances, the F-35 fighter jet has already been purchased in advance by numerous U.S. allies, including Britain, Canada, Australia, Norway, the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey and Denmark, Israel, and Japan.

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Haaretz.com reported that Israel has already purchased 19 F-35s with the intention of buying more at a future date. 

"With the Israel Air Force planning to decommission its fleet of ageing F-15s and F-16s, the F-35 will continue to ensure the country's global competitiveness," Lockheed Martin's website said.

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