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Helmet Mounted Cueing System (HMCS)

Thales’ Scorpion system is the world’s first and only Full-Color Helmet Mounted Cueing System (HMCS).  Our customers – pilots and integrators – refer to Scorpion as “their solution of choice” by virtue of its distinctive “game-changing” advantages:

  • “Disruptive” technology
  • Ease of installation
  • Rapid deployment, and
  • Affordable procurement and life cycle costs.

Visionix‘s Scorpion system is in full-rate production under multiple commercial OEM productions contracts and current US Government contracts and currently flies on the following aircraft:

  • A-10 Thunderbolt (USAF)’
  • F-16  Viper (USAF)
  • F-18 (Spanish Air Force)
  • AC-130W Dragon Spear (USAF)
  • AT-6 (Hawker-Beechcraft/Lockheed Martin)
  • F-22
  • OV-10
  • UH-60/S-70
  • MD530G
  • H125M
  • H145M
  • H225
scorpion helmets



Choosing the right options are critical to ensuring up-to-date capabilities and program success, while meeting delivery and budget targets.  For integrators, the Scorpion® Helmet Mounted Cueing System, allows for rapid installation by requiring no avionics bay modifications.  Installation is simple. The Scorpion system features one component that is able to be easily mounted within the aircraft cockpit – the Interface Control Unit (ICU).

More specifically:

  • All system control via the Ethernet Data bus (Alternatively a  control panel is available for system control)
  • One LRU that can be installed in the side console DZUS rail mount
  • Inertial Optical Hybrid tracker requires no mapping
  • System Interface either via Ethernet or MIL-STD-1553B
  • System to provide data transfer cartridge with size up to 128 GB

The balance of components is part of the pilot’s man worn situational awareness gear.  Interface between the man-worn components and the aircraft mounted ICU is via a pre-assembled Helmet Vehicle Interface (HVI) cable.

Integrators then have the capability to define and implement Helmet Mounted Display symbols and mechanization. Overall:

  • Symbols are programmed by the integrator and downloaded by the aircraft mission system on startup
  • Integrator defines when and where symbols or real-time video are placed.
  • Both video and symbols can be scaled. Only one symbol needs to be defined, and then expanded or reduced on-the-fly.
  • Placement may be in any of four coordinate systems:
    • Earth (Lat, Long, Alt)
    • Aircraft (Azimuth, Elevation, Roll)
    • Cockpit (X,Y,Z relative to design eye)
    • Helmet (Azimuth, Elevation and Roll relative to helmet bore sight)

Because the Scorpion ICU is Open Systems Architecture, integrators may write software applications that run on the ICU in order to implement unique system functions.

Thales Visionix® is a man-side systems integrator, accustomed to working with systems integrators to accomplish Scorpion integration into the customer’s aircraft.  We provide Scorpion hardware and software, data and documentation, logistical in-house and field support and technical expertise.  We are hands-on and work closely with program managers, ground/flight testing personnel, aircrew, maintenance technicians, and on-site systems engineers to assure timely and proper cockpit installation and system functionality.

We seek to support project partners to ensure that milestones are met, and that requirements and compliance’s are satisfied. Inquiries from aircraft systems integrators are welcome.



Situational awareness is critical. Aircraft flight and mission-critical data are essential to the effectiveness and survival of every pilot. Assimilating quickly to such data and reacting instantly and accurately is no small feat at aircraft speeds and varying altitudes, over diverse combat terrains and in changing weather conditions, amid hostile and friendly targets, and under night-time conditions.

Scorpion – the world’s first, full-color Helmet Mounted Cueing System – is designed to unleash every pilot’s potential no matter the time of day. The 24/7 system, which is the most capable and lightest weight “head out of the cockpit” display fielded today, is designed, engineered and manufactured by Thales Visionix to fit any flight helmet platform and to seamlessly integrate with Night Vision Goggles, as well as protective visors and oxygen masks.

Scorpion’s dynamic design allows every pilot to create his own cockpit, choosing from a variety of Scorpion features that allow for the personalization and prioritization of data displayed. The crisp, bright, see-through Scorpion Display Module is the focal point of the HMCS, which installs rapidly and completely within the cockpit. There is no need for a pilot to continuously scan and interpret all of the “heads down” data amidst the aircraft instrumentation and displays. All necessary data is available to the pilot in a virtual Heads Up Display (HUD) with 360⁰ x 360⁰ conformal color symbology that is overlaid onto the “real world.”

Every pilot realizes a distinct performance edge with Scorpion. Being able to constantly assimilate, evaluate and react to data, translates to faster reaction time and greatest war fighter effectiveness.

Scorpion Datasheet

(709kb PDF)


  • Precise head-steered weapons and sensor cueing
  • Full-color, dynamic 360° x 360° conformal color symbology overlaid on the “real world”
  • Rapid target acquisition and hand-off to sensors and weapons
  • Sensor video capability with full-color overlay symbol suite
  • Near zero latency
  • DTEDS, JTIDS and tactical type data display capabilities
  • Seamless 24-hour operation / transition day-night with single display
  • Simple/accurate bore sighting procedure
  • Rapid aircraft integration; No avionics bay LRUs
  • Backward/Forward compatibility with standard head and life support gear, including: HGU-55/P, HGU-56/P, MBU-20/P, MBU-12/P, AN/AVS-9, JSAM
  • Compatible with Clear/Glare/Yellow/LEP/Step-in visors, spectacles
  • System interchangeable between pilots, NOT one custom helmet per pilot


  • Supports full day/night transition missions
  • Full 24-hour day/night capability; totally compatible with AN/AVS-6 NVGs, AN/AVS-9 NVGs and Panoramic Night-Vision Goggles (PNVGs)
  • No interruption of symbology/video during NVGs attachment/detachment
  • Full-color, high-resolution SVGA display
  • Virtual HUD or Multi-Function Display (MFD) capability
  • On-demand sensor video (IR) display
  • High-speed tracker with a full-spherical Field of Regard(FOR); with Hybrid-Inertial
  • Lowest system latency/highest accuracy
  • FOV 26° x 20°
  • Minimal head-borne weight
  • Low total system weight
  • Low power consumption


  • Light Optical Element (LOE) advanced waveguide technology
  • Hybrid Optical based Inertial Tracker (HObIT)
  • Fully programmable symbol generator allows Aircraft Integrator flexibility to define, re-program and implement both raster and vector symbols independently
  • Full 24-bit color capability; Scorpion display can match other heads down displays
  • Optional integrated, color camera available with display symbology overlaid for post-flight mission  debrief/BDA and training
  • Full 24-hour day/night capability; compatible with AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles and Panoramic Night Vision Goggles (PNVG’s)
  • Programmable, compact Interface Control Unit (ICU) mounted in cockpit; no avionics bay intrusion
  • ICU includes a 32 GB removable data cartridge, in cockpit
  • Ethernet, Arinc, or 1553 interface.
  • ICU provides aircraft power to the NVGs (and battery backup)
  • Military qualification 810D/461E/704A
  • Ejection system compatible/Qualified HVI Safety Disconnect System