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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. Sister Trope of Laser Sight, when a laser pointer shows where the gun points. Compare and contrast Puppet Gun, a gun used for aiming a much bigger weapon.


Anime & Manga

  • Full Metal Panic!: The Arm Slaves require the pilot to 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 heads, this allows the pilot to direct point defense literally at a glance.
  • Macross Zero: The helmet of the prototype VF-0 Valkyrie 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.

Comic Books

Films — Live-Action

  • Blue Thunder: The direction of the title helicopter's autocannon is controlled by its pilot's helmet.
  • The Empire Strikes Back: Boba Fett's helmet has an "antenna" with a black rectangle at the end that can be rotated 90 degrees to go over the visor. He's seen with it lowered while flying the Slave I, and The Mandalorian also shows that it's part of his jetpack missile's targeting system. In Star Wars: Bounty Hunter it's also used to scan for and mark bounties, complete with a list of crimes and value(s) for bringing in dead or alive.
  • Fire Birds: Nicolas Cage's character is a rookie Apache pilot and has trouble learning to use one of these, leading to some... innovative teaching methods on the part of his instructor.
  • 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.
  • Predator:
    • In the original film, the title creature's shoulder cannon moves in synch with its helmet.
    • Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem: The Predator installs a second plasmacaster on the other shoulder, although both are controlled by the same sight.
    • Prey (2022): The Predator changes out the plasmacaster for an arrow that tracks based on the helmet-mounted sight. Naru then defeats the Predator by stealing the helmet and propping it up so that the sight is aimed right at the Predator's head. When the Predator launches an arrow, it kills the Predator instead of her.

Live-Action TV

  • Airwolf: The series has one in Stringfellow Hawke's helmet.

Video Games

  • EVE Valkyrie: It 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.
  • Halo: The UNSC Armed Forces equip its soldiers with neural interfaces in the back of their skulls. One of its many functions is to help identify friend from foe by lighting people up in different colors. The purpose is to prevent friendly fire.
  • Modern flight simulators such as Falcon 4.0 and DCS World have helmet-mounted sights for aircraft that use them for off-boresight heat-seeking missiles or slewing sensor systems; more details can be found in the Real Life section.
  • There was a third-party product for the NES which was a headset-mounted zapper gun.
  • Overwatch: Soldier 76 wears the Tactical Visor. When activated for his ultimate, a red holographic display shows him exactly where to aim for the best shots, making all of his attacks in-game hit the target regardless of aim.
  • A Virtual Reality game like this was at Segaworld in London's Trocadero c. 1999.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Virtual Reality mode can use the player's headset to aim weapons.

Web Animation

Western Animation

  • SWAT Kats: This is how Razor, and sometimes T-Bone, fires the cement machine gun aboard the TURBOKat.

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 '80s, 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.