from the November 2013 issue

F-35 fighters to be equipped with an Israeli helmet

The future fighter planes, which are expected to replace the familiar F-16s, will have helmets that were developed by Israeli company "Elbit".

Israeli pride: aerospace manufacturing company "Lockheed Martin" announced that they have picked a helmet made by Israeli company "Elbit" for the F-35 development project, a fighter plane that is expected to replace the F-16s in the next few years.

The Israeli helmet which will be added to the F-35 is designed to provide the pilots with all the information they need to complete their mission from weather conditions today and night visibility conditions all projected on the helmet visor in real time.

Additionally the helmet provides the pilots with information coming from the six infra-red cameras that are situated on the body of the plane. The information gathered by the cameras will provide the pilot information on what is happening in areas that are out of his line of sight. The decision to stop developing the American helmet, and choose the Israeli one, is expected to save "Lockheed Martin" around 45 billion dollars designated to develop a helmet for the F-35 fighters.

"So far, over 100 pilots used the helmet, during 6,000 flights and 10,000 accumulated flight hours, and the feedback was very positive" said the VP of Lockheed Martin. "The government's decision to continue with this helmet exclusively is a sign of their faith in its performance".

The demonstration model is slated to be ready for field testing by the end of 2014.

Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) Ramta's Division has begun building a technology demonstrator of the Mines and IED Detection System (MIDS) multi-sensor system for detecting deep buried and surface-laid mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The new system was displayed at last week's Association of the US Army (AUSA) conference in Washington, DC.

IAI has completed the last phase of engineering testing for MIDS, which will be deployed on a ruggedized, commercial, light tracked or wheeled (manned and/or unmanned) engineering vehicle, according to customer requirements. MIDS will carry an advanced ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and metal detector (MD) arrays into high threat environments to identify deep buried and surface laid mines and IEDs that are in, and next to, the advancing path of the maneuvering forces. The two main arrays (GPR and metal detector) will produce data which will be combined to analyze readings in real time, minimizing false alarms from non-threatening materials such as rocks, wood and other debris.

All development and construction of the technology demonstrator is taking place at the company's Beersheba facility and the demonstrator is slated to be ready for field testing by the end of 2014.

In addition, an onboard IAI-manufactured electro-optic payload with day and night cameras will provide remote operators with situational awareness and enable visual surveillance from a safe distance. On-board navigation systems allow the vehicle to travel along a precise series of preprogrammed or operator designated waypoints and record and transmit the exact location of discovered threats. MIDS will carry a remotely-operated weapon system slaved to the electro-optic payload for self-defense against enemy combatants or for detonating threats on the operator's command. The system will also be equipped with a small dozer blade able to clear obstructions, and a lane-painting/marking system for designating both a safe path for following vehicles/troops and for outlining the location of discovered threats.

IAI's Ramat Division said, "MIDS complements Ramta's diverse and successful portfolio of mine field breaching systems that were developed by the company over many years."

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report November 2013

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