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82nd Airborne testing US Army new body armor and helmet



U.S. troops will soon be equipped with a lighter and better head protection if the current testing by 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, gives positive results. The U.S. Army has tasked these soldiers with putting the Modular Scalable Vest version II, Ballistic Pelvic Protection, and its Integrated Head Protection (IHP) helmet through intensive evaluation this March.


82nd Airborne testing US Armys new body armor and helmet
Modular Scalable Vest version II, Ballistic Pelvic Protection (Picture source: U.S. Army)


The body armor soldiers will test weighs 20 pounds (9 kg), although plates put in their carrier pockets to stop bullets are showing higher levels of protection at 20 percent less weight.

The IHP made by Ceradyne, a 3M company, boasts “100 percent” more “blunt impact protection” than the Enhanced Combat Helmet, which is impressive when one knows that the latter saved a soldier who was hit with a 7.62mm round to the back of the head, Douglas Ernst reports in the Washington Times. The key to the latest helmet’s protective abilities is the fact that it uses a boltless system: fewer holes for affixing the helmet’s head and chin strap (four instead of five) translates into increased protection. Ceradyne said the Integrated Head Protection System is a lighter-weight ballistic helmet system that also provides passive hearing protection and increased blunt-impact performance. This helmet system includes numerous accessories, including a mandible, visor, night vision goggle attachment device, rails and modular ballistic applique.

U.S. Army officials want an entire brigade combat team be fielded with the next-generation helmet and improved body armor by late 2020 or early 2021. The low-rate initial production contracts have a combined value of $43 million.


82nd Airborne testing US Armys new body armor and helmet 2
 Integrated Head Protection (IHP) helmet (Picture source: 3M)

82nd Airborne testing US Army new body armor and helmet 3
Integrated Head Protection (IHP) helmet, complete (Picture source: PEO Soldier)


 

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