Advanced Combat Helmet
|Advanced Combat Helmet|
An ACH with a Universal Combat Pattern helmet cover and the 1st MEB patch
|Place of origin||United States of America|
|Used by||See Users|
|Wars||Global War on Terrorism|
|Designer||U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center|
|Manufacturer||ArmorSource and Gentex|
|Variants||Generation II Lightweight Advanced Combat Helmet|
The Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) is the United States Army's current combat helmet, used since the mid-2000s. It was developed by the United States Army Soldier Systems Center, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to be the next generation of protective combat helmets for use by the American ground forces. The ACH is derived from the Modular Integrated Communications Helmet. The ACH is currently in the process of being phased out and replaced by the Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH), an improvement upon the ACH derived from its design. And later being replaced by the Integrated Head Protection System.
The Advanced Combat Helmet was first fielded beginning in 2002[N 1] in limited numbers to eventually replace the PASGT helmet. In 2006, 102,000 helmets were ordered from ArmorSource, of which 99,000 were delivered when the contract was fulfilled and properly closed. In 2007, the Army introduced a ballistic "nape pad" that attaches to the ACH's rear suspension system. Of these, 430,000 were to be issued in the Rapid Fielding Initiative (RFI). 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 (or traumatic brain injuries) caused during IED detonations. The data collected will help with the design of improvements to the MICH's suspension and chin strap systems. 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. In May 2009, 34,218 ACHs made by the Gentex Corporation 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. A MultiCam cover for the Advanced Combat Helmet began fielding in late 2009 for soldiers deployed in Afghanistan.
On March 7, 2016, Armorsource LLC agreed to pay $3 million to settle False Claims Act allegations. Revision was awarded a contract for the ACH II contract. The ACH and Lightweight Helmets will eventually be replaced by the Enhanced Combat Helmet.
The shape of the ACH is virtually identical to the MICH TC-2000. Compared to the PASGT helmet, the front brow is eliminated to improve upwards visibility and allow easier mounting of night-vision goggle brackets. The side brim has been raised to the point that the entire lower brim of the helmet is "flat" compared to the PASGT which curves upwards at the back. This is to allow greater compatibility with communications headsets and improve hearing when headsets are not used. The ACH uses ballistic fiber such as kevlar and twaron.[dead link] 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 fragmentation wounds to the neck and lower head.
Lightweight Advanced Combat Helmet
The Lightweight Advanced Combat Helmet Generation II (LW-ACH Gen II) weighs one pound less than the original ACH while offering the same ballistic protection. This is being used for the basis of the Lightweight Helmet.
- Australia: The Australian Enhanced Combat Helmet is an ACH variant made by Rabintex, Israelused by all branches of Australian Defence Force and Specialist Response Group of the Australian Federal Police
- Iraq: Used by Iraqi commandos.
- Ireland: Australian variant ACH made by Rabintex, Israel used by Irish Defence Force.
- Israel: In use by YAMAM.
- Mexico: Used by the Mexican Army and SEDENA and SEMAR Special Operations Forces.
- New Zealand: Australian Enhanced Combat Helmet made by Rabintex, Israel used by all branches of New Zealand Defence Force and Special Tactics Group of the New Zealand Police from 2009-2019.
- North Macedonia: ACH helmets made by Eurokompozit used by the Macedonian Police's Special Task Unit "Tigers".
- United States: Used by the U.S. Army.
- Some sources report that the helmet was first fielded in 2003.
- "Advanced Combat Helmet ( ACH )". Archived from the original on 16 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
- Boyd, Ryan. "Advanced Combat Helmet - ACH". Military.com. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
- Anderson, David (April 20, 2016). "Soldier visits Aberdeen Proving Ground labs where helmet that saved his life was developed". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
- Veterans, Hard Head. "Ballistic Military Helmets and Which One is Right for You!".
- "Advanced Combat Helmet ACH".
- "Helmet Sensors, Improved Armor Helping Soldier Survivability".
- C. Todd Lopez (12 August 2010). "New uniform for OEF protects Soldiers, hides them better". Archived from the original on February 4, 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.
- "Defense Contractor Armorsource LLC Agrees to Pay $3 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations". www.justice.gov. 2016-03-07.
- "Revision Awarded U.S. Army Next-Generation ACH Helmet Contract". www.revisionmilitary.com.
- Matthew Cox; Dan Lamothe (31 August 2009). "Army's new plastic helmet tops Kevlar ACH". Gannett Government Media Corporation. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
- Matthew Cox (28 February 2007). "New helmet pad protects from fragments". Gannett Government Media Corporation. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
- "Army adding neck pad to body armor". Stars and Stripes.
- Army Vice Chief Focused on Lighter Soldier Kit - Kitup.Military.com, 29 June 2015
- "The First Significant Advancement in ACH Technology in 15 Years: Revision's Batlskin Viper P4 Advanced Combat Helmet System". www.revisionmilitary.com.
- "MDM – Gentex / Ops-Core".
- "ISOF Arms & Equipment Part 1 – Personal Equipment – Armament Research Services".
- http://www.gostak.co.uk/composites/ireland/[better source needed][permanent dead link]
- "Militares cambian de piel; tendrán uniformes más ligeros y seguros". Excélsior. August 12, 2019.
- "One Force Magazine issue #3" (PDF). www.nzdf.mil.nz. 2009. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
- "Specijalne-jedinice.com - Special Task Unit "Tiger" of the Republic Macedonia". specijalne-jedinice.com.
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