While watching a YouTube video (2.5hrs), I noticed this device on the top of most Russian Su-27 combat pilot's helmet. A google search only shows it for a Su-27 and MiG-29, but apparently no other aircraft. It was not on any Chinese, Syria, Ukraine or Russian aerobatic pilots flying the Su-27. It appears to be at the wrong angle and has a metal plate that seems to exclude it from being some type of illumination.

What is this on a Su-27 helmet?

enter image description here

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Possibly a night vision goggle bracket? $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 3:39
  • 23
    $\begingroup$ Looks like a go-pro mount. $\endgroup$
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 6:34
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Unrelated, but thank you for the documentary link. Truly interesting. $\endgroup$
    – eis
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 7:55
  • $\begingroup$ Russian Su-27 combat fighter aircraft designed around 1980. It started out as a lemon but the Russians improved it and variants so quickly over a few years that it soon out flew any other aircraft in the world. The F22 and F35 have been built specifically as a deterrent to the S-27 & Su-35. Russia challenged the US to a test dogfight. The US pilots did not like the idea...much, too risky to hold the fight...in front of photographers and TV cameras. pravdareport.com/world/americas/20-07-2009/108253-su27-0 $\endgroup$
    – jwzumwalt
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 10:42
  • $\begingroup$ @jwzumwalt we sure that's not an urban legend/ pravda piece? $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 21:42

2 Answers 2


That is the mounting point for night vision goggles. The following image shows a helmet with NVG mounted.

Helmet mounted NVG

Helmet mounted NVG; image from lemt.by

The USAF has helmets with different mounting and some of the modern pilot helmets (like BAE Striker II, for example) have an integrated night vision device.


enter image description here

Those are also mounts for Helmet Mounted Sight for the Vympel R-73 missile. Both the MiG-29 and Su-27 were equipped with this missile system.

I think F-35 pilots have this technology now but with a fancier helmet. The old ones on the MIGs looks like monocle.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Can you provide any information on this targeting wearable device? Such as its name, and any supporting material? Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ @ymb SURA helmet-mounted target designator is the Su-30-adapted export version of "Щель-3УМ-1" system, which is used on MiG-29 and Su-27 (and its derivatives). It is indeed can be mounted on that slot on the helmet. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 5:29
  • $\begingroup$ @DanilaSmirnov - nice info, I added the picture from the link. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 23:09

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