Army’s New Helmet Offers Greater Protection, Rails for Mounting Lights

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U.S. Army equipment officials will soon begin fielding a new combat helmet designed to give soldiers 100 percent greater protection against head trauma injuries on the battlefield.

This month, soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, will receive the Army’s new Integrated Head Protection System, or IHPS, which will replace the Enhanced Combat Helmet in close-combat units.

“Our next-generation helmet — the [Integrated] Head Protection System — it has a 100 percent greater blunt impact protection over the … Enhanced Combat Helmet,” Lt. Col. Ginger Whitehead, product manager for Soldier Protective Equipment, said recently.

Soldiers from 3rd Brigade Combat Team will receive the IHPS, along with other items in the Soldier Protection System, such as the Modular Scalable Vest and Blast Pelvic Protector, said Col. Steven Thomas, project manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment.

The new helmet — made by Ceradyne Inc., a 3M company — offers the same ballistic protection against rifle bullets as the ECH but doubles the amount of protection against blunt impact or trauma to a soldier’s head, according to Alex DeGroot, lead engineer for head protection.

“It’s less force on the brain; it’s a tremendous increase for us,” DeGroot said. “It’s actually one of the things that makes this helmet considerably better than the current [helmet].”

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