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Boeing Starts F/A-18F Aft Seat Testing of Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 03, 2005 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] started flight tests this month at Naval Air Warfare Center China Lake, Calif., as part of the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) integration into the aft cockpits of the U.S. Navy's F/A-18F Super Hornet.

The testing marks the first time both the pilot and weapon systems officer have used the helmet in an F/A-18F during flight.

"This first flight of the JHMCS in the aft cockpit of the Super Hornet brings us closer to providing Navy aircrews with an incredible increase in situation awareness and combat effectiveness," said Todd Harper, the JHMCS F/A-18 team leader for Boeing. Flight testing of the helmet in the aft cockpit of the F/A-18D began in January 2005.

This flight test coincides with the Navy awarding Boeing a $4.4 million addition to the current F/A-18E/F multi-year contract to provide aft-cockpit helmets in F/A-18F and EA-18G aircraft scheduled for delivery beginning in October 2007. F/A-18F aircraft to be used for validation and verification testing will be retrofit with the aft-cockpit capability beginning in late summer 2006.

First used in Operation Iraqi Freedom, JHMCS gives flight crewmembers the ability to rapidly acquire and designate a target simply by looking at it. By putting an aiming cross, which is projected on the helmet visor, over the desired target and pressing a button, the pilot can quickly and easily aim weapons and sensors to designate and attack airborne or ground targets. JHMCS also displays aircraft altitude, airspeed, gravitational pull and angle of attack on the visor, as well as tactical information, to increase the crew member's awareness of the state of the aircraft and the combat situation.

Boeing is the prime contractor and integrator for JHMCS and Vision System International, based in San Jose, Calif., is the major subcontractor.

Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, a unit of The Boeing Company, is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.5 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.


Contact Info:
Kathleen M. Cook
Boeing Naval Systems
(314) 233-6818

Patricia Frost
Boeing Naval Systems
(314) 234-6996

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