WASHINGTON Oct 11 Britain's BAE Systems Plc
said on Friday it had no plans to challenge a decision
by the Pentagon to halt work on an alternate pilot helmet the
company was developing for the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35
The Pentagon on Thursday said it would now focus exclusively
on the primary F-35 helmet being developed jointly by Rockwell
Collins Inc and Israel's Elbit Systems Ltd, a
move it said would save around $45 million.
"Because we were always viewed as a risk mitigation
alternative for the F-35 helmet program, we do not have plans to
challenge this decision," said Liz Ryan Sax, a spokeswoman for
the U.S. unit of BAE Systems.
The company said it was disappointed by the decision and
remained convinced that it had developed "a best-in-class
visor-projected helmet-mounted display that is ready to provide
superior capabilities to an attack jet platform."
"We've proven we can deliver a capable, affordable product
in record time," she said. "We'll be ready at any time should
they change their mind on the helmet." She said BAE had hit
every milestone set for the alternate helmet program.
Lockheed spokeswoman Laura Siebert on Thursday said the
company had spent about $57 million on the second helmet to
date, with total investment slated to reach $104 million.
A Pentagon spokesman said Lockheed and BAE were negotiating
the terms of stopping the program.
BAE remains a key supplier to Lockheed for the F-35's
electronic warfare capabilities, the vehicle management computer
and other components.
The Pentagon's F-35 program office said it decided to stop
work on the BAE helmet given improvements to the Rockwell-Elbit
helmet, including a better night vision camera, new
liquid-crystal displays, automated alignment and better