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Helmet-Mounted Sight

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With the laser sight, the Predator can tell his Shoulder Cannon exactly where to fire.

A Helmet-Mounted Sight is essentially a Heads-Up Display that tells your fighter/chopper where you want the bullets or missiles to go. It also can show what friendly or enemy fighters are equipped with to provide Stat-O-Vision. This can appear in modern or sci-fi settings, but only the most elite soldiers or very powerful single combatants are likely to have it equipped.

This trope is becoming more Defictionalized as time goes on.



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  • The prototype VF-0 Valkyrie in Macross Zero does it one better: the helmet tracks the pilot's eyeballs in order to acquire targets for the mecha's head-mounted cannons. Presumably, this later became a standard feature, but this is one of only two times in the entire Macross franchise we actually see how it works, with the other being a blink and you'll miss it moment with Ozma in Macross Frontier.
  • The Arm Slaves in Full Metal Panic! have the pilot wear a special headband over their forehead so the cockpit can track their head motions. This in turn allows the pilot to control the facing of the Arm Slave's head by moving their own. Since many models of Arm Slave mount machine guns in their head, this allows the pilot to direct point defense literally at a glance.


  • Predator
    • In the original film, the title creature's shoulder cannon moves in synch with its helmet.
    • In Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, the Predator installs a second plasmacaster on the other shoulder, although both are controlled by the same sight.
  • Blue Thunder. The direction of the title helicopter's autocannon is controlled by its pilot's helmet.
  • Nicolas Cage's character in Fire Birds, a rookie Apache pilot, has trouble learning to use one of these, leading to some... innovative teaching methods on the part of his instructor.
  • In Half Past Dead, Steven Seagal's character explains to his friend (played by Ja Rule) how to operate a crashed helicopter's gun using the helmet. When the firefight breaks out, it comes in handy.

    Live Action TV 
  • Airwolf has one in Stringfellow Hawke's helmet.

    Video Games 
  • There was a third-party product for the NES which was a headset-mounted zapper gun.
  • Team Fortress 2 in Virtual Reality mode can use the player's headset to aim weapons.
  • Modern flight simulators such as Falcon 4.0 and DCS World have helmet-mounted sights for aircraft that use them for off-boresight heatseeking missiles or slewing sensor systems; more details can be found in the Real Life section.

    Virtual Reality Games 
  • A VR game like this was at Segaworld in London's Trocadero c. 1999.
  • EVE Valkyrie features head-tracked missiles as the most prominent secondary weapon, and it's one of the major reasons why the game requires a VR headset to play.

    Real Life 
  • US helicopter gunships since the early 1980s have used the IHADSS system, which can not only aim a laser designator for the AGM114 laser-guided antitank missile, but also aim an autocannon in the powered turret under the helicopter's "chin".
  • The first widespread implementation in a fighter aircraft was the MiG-29 "Fulcrum" in the 1980's, causing some alarm within NATO after they discovered how effective they were from ex-GDR examples of that plane, particularly in combination with the R-73/AA-11 heat-seeking missile. The US Air Force and Navy, who had been rolling them out rather tentatively until this point, were quick to catch up.
  • The F22 and F35 are/will be equipped with these. Several attack helicopters are equipped with them as well.
    • Specifically these aircraft, along with several older U.S. fighters like the F-15, F-16, and F/A-18 will be made compatible with the new Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System, which when combined with the new AIM-9X model of the Sidewinder allows for some absolutely gratuitous stunts involving Roboteching.
  • A purely peaceful version is the Newton Cross Sight, which is used to aim a helmet-mounted camera, enabling the operator to properly frame climbing, skiing, or other extreme sports activities while right in the middle of them, while also leaving both hands free and keeping the operator's field of view largely unobstructed.


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