Advanced Combat Helmet

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A U.S. Army soldier wearing the MICH TC-2000 in 2005. The helmet is equipped with a Universal Camouflage Pattern helmet cover with a night vision device mounting bracket on the front

The Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) is the United States Army's current combat helmet. It was developed by the United States Army Soldier Systems Center to be the next generation of protective combat helmets for use by the U.S. Army.[1] The ACH is derived from the Modular Integrated Communications Helmet.

History[edit]

The Advanced Combat Helmet was fielded in 2003 by PEO Soldier to replace the PASGT helmet.[2]

In 2007 the Army introduced a ballistic "nape pad" that attaches to the ACH's rear suspension system. 430,000 were to be issued in the Rapid Fielding Initiative (RFI).[3]

Beginning in 2008, the Army's Program Executive Office Soldier outfitted soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division and 4th Infantry Division bound for Iraq with helmet-mounted sensors designed to gather data on head injuries caused during Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonations. The data collected will help with the design of improvements to the MICH's suspension and chin strap systems.[4]

In 2006, 102,000 helmets were ordered from ArmorSource, of which 99,000 were delivered when the contract was fulfilled and properly closed. In May 2009, 55,000 of these were in storage and 44,000 were in use U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force personnel. The 44,000 helmets in use by service members were recalled by the U.S. Army in May 2010 due to potentially defective materials being used. No proof of defective materials was ever established nor evidence of any wrongdoing by the contractor.[2]

In May 2009, 34,218 ACHs made by Gentex were recalled. Certain screws attaching the chinstrap and other parts to the helmet did not conform to specifications in the contract. The screws failed ballistics tests at extreme temperatures. Gentex alleges its subcontractor had fabricated compliance certificates for the screws.[2]

A MultiCam cover for the Advanced Combat Helmet began fielding in late 2009 for soldiers deployed in Afghanistan.[5]

The ACH and Lightweight Helmets may be replaced with the Enhanced Combat Helmet currently under development.

Design[edit]

U.S. Army soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division wearing ACH helmets in the M81 Woodland pattern
A 4th Infantry Division soldier wearing an ACH helmet in the MultiCam pattern

The ACH uses ballistic fiber such as Kevlar and Twaron.[6]

In 2007 the Army developed and introduced a ballistic "nape pad" that attaches to the ACH's rear suspension system and coincided with the introduction of the Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV). The pad reduces soldier deaths from shrapnel wounds to the neck and lower head.[3][7]

Users[edit]

In 2014, due to lack of adequate protection, hundreds of de-commissioned American combat helmets were bought in USA and shipped to Ukraine, where they are widely used by soldiers of Ukrainian Army Forces in war with Russian backed separatists (along with other types of modern ballistic helmets).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Advanced Combat Helmet ( ACH )". Archived from the original on 16 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  2. ^ a b c Matthew Cox (17 May 2010). "Army recalls 44,000 helmets". Gannett Government Media Corporation. Retrieved 31 January 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Matthew Cox (28 February 2007). "New helmet pad protects from fragments". Gannett Government Media Corporation. Retrieved 31 January 2011. 
  4. ^ Army.mil - Helmet Sensors, Improved Armor Helping Soldier Survivability
  5. ^ C. Todd Lopez (12 August 2010). "New uniform for OEF protects Soldiers, hides them better". Archived from the original on 4 February 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2011. Gear being fielded to Soldiers with the new pattern includes a cover for the Advanced Combat Helmet, the Extended Cold Weather Clothing System, the Fire Resistant Army Combat Uniform, the Improved Outer Tactical Vest, both the sun hat and patrol cap, name and service tapes for the FR ACU, and multiple pieces of Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. 
  6. ^ Matthew Cox; Dan Lamothe (31 August 2009). "Army’s new plastic helmet tops Kevlar ACH". Gannett Government Media Corporation. Retrieved 31 January 2011. 
  7. ^ Stars and Stripes - Army Adding Neck Pad to Body Armor

External links[edit]