Development of Alternate F-35 Helmet Halted

p, .ExternalClass The F-35 program office has halted development of BAE Systems’ alternate helmet for the F-35 strike fighter, choosing to focus exclusively on the Rockwell Collins-Elbit Systems’ helmet currently used in training and testing, announced F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin. “The government’s decision to proceed exclusively with the principal helmet is indicative of their confidence in the helmet’s performance and the successful resolution of previously identified technical challenges,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 general manager, in the company’s Oct. 10 release. The decision will allow the program to recoup $45 million in funds originally allocated for the alternate helmet’s development, according to the release. BAE Systems began developing the alternate helmet in September 2011 after the Rockwell Collins team ran into difficulties in maturing its own design. The F-35 helmet is designed to project information on the helmet’s visor, providing pilots with unprecedented situational awareness. (See also JSF Officials Focus on Helmet Issues.)