Modular Integrated Communications Helmet

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A U.S. Army soldier wearing a MICH helmet in June 2001.

The Modular Integrated Communications Helmet (MICH) is a combat helmet and one of several used by the U.S. military. The MICH helmet is the primary combat helmet for use by soldiers of the United States Army. 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 Advanced Combat Helmet is derived from the MICH.

History[edit]

U.S. Marines with MICH helmets in March 2002.
U.S. Army soldiers with MICH helmets in January 2003.

The MICH was originally part of a series of combat helmets designed for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command as a replacement for the PASGT helmet solely within those units. However, the U.S. Army later determined that the improvements presented by the high cut and brim-less MICH over the PASGT helmet warranted organization-wide distribution.

To date, the MICH has replaced the PASGT in active U.S. Army service.

The MICH is in use with all branches of the U.S. military in at least some capacity. The MICH was officially adopted as the standard issue helmet of the Air Force Security Forces. The U.S. Marine Corps evaluated the MICH during its own search for a PASGT replacement, but chose to adopt a helmet that retains the profile of the PASGT, known as the Lightweight Helmet. MICH helmets are available for purchase by law enforcement agencies and the public. They have become popular with various SWAT units and private security companies.

Design[edit]

The MICH ranges in weight from about 3 lb (1.36 kg) (size medium) to just over 3.6 lb (1.63 kg) (extra large). It uses a new, more advanced type of Kevlar and provides increased protection against handgun rounds.

A pad system and four-point retention system, similar to the cushions and straps found on bicycle helmets, replaces the nylon cord suspension system, sweatband and chinstrap found on the PASGT helmet. The change provides greater impact protection and comfort for the wearer. It can be fitted with a mounting bracket for an AN/PVS-14 monocular night vision device (MNVD) on the front, similar to that on the PASGT helmet. It can also be fitted with a pair of straps on the rear to keep protective eyewear in place, as well as cloth helmet covers in varying camouflage patterns including M81 Woodland, three-color desert, USMC MARPAT, U.S. Army UCP, Crye MultiCam, and solid black for use with SWAT teams. As with its PASGT predecessor, the MICH is often worn with a band around it which features a pair of reflective "cat eyes"—patches on the back intended to prevent friendly fire incidents.[citation needed]

The MICH is also slightly smaller than the PASGT, providing 8% less coverage. This accounts for some of the reduced weight and allows for both greater situational awareness and less obstruction of the wearer's vision, particularly when combined with Interceptor body armor. Previously, soldiers had complained that the high collar of the Interceptor pushed the back of the helmet forward, in turn moving the helmet brim over their eyes when they attempted to fire from a prone position.

Users[edit]

A U.S. Army Ranger wearing a MICH during a training mission.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]