Lighter Combat Helmets in Store for Army

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June 5, 2017 | Originally published by Date Line: June 5 on

There are two timeless complaints soldiers make: what they eat, and the weight they carry.
A Vermont company is set to help with one of those after being awarded a maximum $98 million contract to produce the Advanced Combat Helmet Generation II, 24 percent lighter than the current model, according to Revision Military, the manufacturer.

The contract allows for about 290,000 helmets to be produced by March 2022.

That order would go a long way to outfit more than half of the Army’s current end strength of 467,000 soldiers, according to a January count by the Pentagon.

The Army asked to maintain the geometry and protection of the current Advanced Combat Helmet but needed a reduction in weight. The new helmet is 2.45 pounds, down from the current model that weighs 3.23 pounds.

The helmet is just as strong as the previous model but uses Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene in its construction, a lighter material than synthetic fiber used in what is commonly referred to as Kevlar.

With a lighter and stronger design, it was developed with a hole in the front for a night-vision mount. The new model, like its predecessor, is rated to stop various sizes of fragments and 9mm handgun rounds while retaining Army standards to protect against hard impacts that can lead to traumatic brain injury.