PARIS, May 10 (UPI) -- Spanish EF-18 Hornet fighters are being equipped with Scorpion helmet-mounted cueing systems from Thales, the company announced.
The contract from the Ministry of Defense is for 80 systems configured for Spain, with delivery and installation this year and next following an operational qualification phase and air-to-air and air-to-ground testing.
The Scorpion system provides full color symbology (navigation, intelligence, combat) for both night and day missions, as well as target cueing.
It is interchangeable between helmets and pilots as it is installed directly over standard helmets.
Thales said it will be responsible for the viability study, testing phase, and integration of the system.
Testing will include inter-operability with the IRIS-T missile and the day/night imaging pod for cueing lightening targets.
"This new contract will not only strengthen the relationship with the Spanish Ministry of Defense but it will also allow the Spanish Air Force to reinforce its capacities," said Gil Michielin, Thales' executive vice-president of Avionics. "With Scorpion, Thales provides an innovative solution designed to simplify the mission for pilots and one that can be adapted to an extensive range of platforms."
The Thales system uses hybrid optical-based inertial tracking technology and a hybrid reference system. It can be operated at night with standard unmodified night-vision goggles.
The system is already in use on U.S. Air Force F-16 Block 30/32 aircraft, and has been flight tested on many other platforms.
The monetary value of the contract was not disclosed.