Luke AFB, Ariz., issued the first next-generation F-35 helmet to a Norwegian Air Force pilot in training, according to a base release. The new helmet, built by Rockwell Collins, features upgrades in night vision, optics, and liquid-crystal displays, according to the Air Force. The helmet is designed to project the aircraft’s heads-up display information onto a screen directly in front of the pilot, including information such as horizon, airspeed, altitude, and weapons. “I think the helmet is going to be an important factor in enhancing my situational awareness,” said Norwegian Air Force Maj. Morten Hanche, 62nd Fighter Squadron training pilot, the first Luke pilot to receive the helmet on Oct. 16. “I don’t have to look around. I can glance with my eyes and get the info I need.” The new helmet was first delivered from Rockwell Collins to the Air Force in August and is expected to enter low-rate production next year. (See also Modifications, Helmet Needed for IOC.)
Adm. Christopher Grady, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs and head of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, is pushing a “portfolio” approach to requirements and wants his position to have “more teeth” so he can enforce it.