The Boeing Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) combines a magnetic head tracker with a display projected onto a pilot's visor, giving the pilot a targeting device that can be used to aim sensors and weapons wherever the pilot is looking. It does so by synchronizing aircraft sensors with the user's head movements so they automatically point where the pilot looks and displaying flight information on the inside of the helmet visor so data is always in view.
To aim and fire a missile, pilots point their heads at the targets and press a switch on the flight controls to direct and fire a weapon. To attack a ground target, pilots can acquire the target with a sensor and note its location on the helmet display. Alternatively, pilots can use the helmet display to cue sensors and weapons to a visually detected ground target.
In a dual-seat aircraft, each crewmember can wear a JHMCS helmet and perform independent operations with continuous awareness of where the other crewmember is looking.
The high off-boresight seeker (HOBS) system consists of the JHMCS and the AIM-9X high off-boresight air-to-air missile. The AIM-9X is an advanced short-range dogfight weapon that can intercept airborne targets located at high off-boresight lines of sight relative to the shooter. The combination of JHMCS and AIM-9X results in a weapon that can attack and destroy an airborne enemy seen by the pilot. This weapon can be employed without maneuvering the aircraft, minimizing the time spent in the threat environment.
In July 2000, Boeing received U.S. Navy approval for JHMCS to proceed into low-rate initial production and deliver 36 systems as part of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft that would be delivered in fiscal year 2002.
The Navy began F/A-18E/F Super Hornet flight testing of the JHMCS in April 2001.
On Aug. 29, 2003, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) awarded Boeing a $24 million contract to produce 100 JHMCS destined for the U.S. Air Force F-15 and F-16 aircraft and the Navy’s F/A-18E/F aircraft.
DOD contracts for full production followed in February and June 2004 for U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard F-15 Eagles and Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons, along with U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.
The system’s first operational use was during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Customers for the system include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Turkey and Switzerland.
In 2012, Boeing validated the integration of the next-generation Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System II/h (JHMCS II/h) on the company's F-15 Silent Eagle demonstrator aircraft.