Next Up For A-10s, Helmet-Mounted Cueing

The airmen who fly and maintain the A-10Cs of the Maryland Air National Guard’s 104th Fighter Squadron say one of the final items on their wish list should be coming down the pike soon: a helmet-mounted cueing system. “It’s the last piece of the pie,” Lt. Col. Kevin Campbell, commander of the 175th Maintenance Squadron, told the Daily Report during a visit to the A-10Cs’ home at Warfield ANGB outside of Baltimore March 27. The cueing system, coupled with the upgraded avionics and sensors resident on the A-10C would greatly improve targeting and tracking, Campbell and his colleagues said. During the week of March 27, ANG personnel came to Warfield to build cockpit maps for such a system. ANG hasn’t chosen a design yet, but plans to begin testing the technology in May at the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Test Center at Tucson ANGB, Ariz. If the testing is successful, the Air Guard would like to go into production with a model as early as next year. “That’s very aggressive, but it’s the last thing you need in this jet to complement all the integration” enhancements that went into the A-10C upgrade, Campbell said. Lt. Col. Dan Marino, commander of the 104th Operations Group, said the goal of the effort is to produce a HMCS capability utilizing commercial off-the-shelf technology that’s a bit cheaper than the more advanced Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System produced by Boeing for F-15s, F-16s, and Navy F-18s.