S6 NBC Respirator

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S6 NBC Respirator with filter.jpg
Standard Issue S6 respirator
Type Military
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1966–1986[1]
Used by British Armed Forces, SAS, Turkish Army
Production history
Manufacturer Birmingham & Leyland Rubber Company

The S6 NBC Respirator was the protective gas mask issued to the British armed forces. It was developed in the 1950s and used from the 1960s up until the introduction of the (now out of service) S10 in 1986, after which it was withdrawn from service


The S6 was developed by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Porton Down from the 1950s and manufactured by Avon Rubber in Melksham, Wiltshire and the Birmingham & Leyland Rubber Company. Although made obsolete by the introduction of the S10, production of the S6 continued in Turkey after the adoption of the new mask by British forces. During the widely documented Iranian Embassy Siege of 1980, the S6 is the mask seen being worn by SAS troops.

The Turkish army adopted off-white version of S6 in 1991 with the name SR10. SR10 and its newer version SR10-ST (With drinking tube system) is still used by Turkey.


The S6 respirator provided protection to the face, eyes, lung and throat of the wearer against all known chemical agents of that time. The filter of the respirator did not filter out carbon dioxide. The S6 features an innovative air seal around the inside of the face piece to improve the fit and comfort of the mask; a tap inside the nose cup was to allow the equalisation of pressure inside the air seal, in different climactic conditions. The wearers natural body heat would then warm the trapped air to inflate the air seal, thus getting a better seal around the face. The mask could also be made to benefit left-handed people, where the filter canister is positioned on the right of the face mask instead of the left. The location of the filter on the left or right side of the mask was to prevent the recoil of a rifle hitting the filter and breaking the seal around the face.


  1. ^ "S6 Respirator". Retrieved 2010-08-10.