Advanced Combat Helmet

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Advanced Combat Helmet
ACH side view
TypeCombat helmet
Place of originUnited States of America
Service history
In service2003-present
Used bySee Users
WarsIn U.S service:
Global War on Terrorism
In non-US service:
Mexican drug war
Production history
DesignerU.S. Army Soldier Systems Center
VariantsGeneration II Lightweight Advanced Combat Helmet
2013 video by the U.S. Army, showcasing the ACH's protective capabilities.

The Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) is the United States Army's current combat helmet, used since the early 2000s. It was developed by the United States Army Soldier Systems Center,[2] the U.S. Army Special Operations Command,[3] and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory[4] 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.[5]

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; however, both the ACH and the newer ECH are being replaced by the Integrated Head Protection System.


A soldier wearing the ACH in UCP pattern.
A 4th Infantry Division soldier wearing an ACH helmet in the OCP pattern.


The Advanced Combat Helmet was first fielded beginning in 2003[N 1] in limited numbers to eventually replace the PASGT helmet.[6] 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).[6] 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 ACH's suspension and chin strap systems.[7] In May 2009, 55,000 of these were in storage and 44,000 were in use by 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.[8] Eventually, the contractor agreed to pay a $3 million fine, without admitting to any wrongdoing by the contractor.[9]

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.[citation needed] An OCP cover for the Advanced Combat Helmet began fielding in late 2009 for soldiers deployed in Afghanistan.[10]


On March 7, 2016, Armorsource LLC agreed to pay $3 million to settle False Claims Act allegations.[11] Revision was awarded a contract for the ACH II contract.[12] The ACH and Lightweight Helmets will eventually be replaced by the Enhanced Combat Helmet and Integrated Head Protection System.


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.[13] 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.[14][15]


Enhanced Combat Helmet (Australia)[edit]

Lightweight Advanced Combat Helmet[edit]

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.[16][17] This is being used for the basis of the Lightweight Helmet.[18]



  1. ^ Some sources report that the helmet was first fielded in 2003.


  1. ^ Export Book Archived 24 June 2021 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b "Advanced Combat Helmet ( ACH )". Archived from the original on 16 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
  3. ^ Boyd, Ryan. "Advanced Combat Helmet - ACH". Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Veterans, Hard Head. "Ballistic Military Helmets and Which One is Right for You!".
  6. ^ a b "Advanced Combat Helmet ACH". Retrieved 9 April 2023.
  7. ^ "Helmet Sensors, Improved Armor Helping Soldier Survivability". Retrieved 9 April 2023.
  8. ^ Lamothe, Dan (2021-10-27). "Inmates made defective combat helmets for U.S. troops — and no one was prosecuted". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2024-02-11.
  9. ^ "Report Details Combat Helmet Maker's Alleged Shoddy Manufacturing". ABC News. Retrieved 2024-02-11.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Defense Contractor Armorsource LLC Agrees to Pay $3 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations". 2016-03-07.
  12. ^ "Revision Awarded U.S. Army Next-Generation ACH Helmet Contract".[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Matthew Cox; Dan Lamothe (31 August 2009). "Army's new plastic helmet tops Kevlar ACH". Gannett Government Media Corporation. Archived from the original on 2 September 2009. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
  14. ^ Matthew Cox (28 February 2007). "New helmet pad protects from fragments". Gannett Government Media Corporation. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
  15. ^ "Army adding neck pad to body armor". Stars and Stripes.
  16. ^ Army Vice Chief Focused on Lighter Soldier Kit -, 29 June 2015
  17. ^ "The First Significant Advancement in ACH Technology in 15 Years: Revision's Batlskin Viper P4 Advanced Combat Helmet System".
  18. ^ "MDM - Gentex / Ops-Core - Soldier Systems Daily". 23 September 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
  19. ^ "Rabintex Industries Ltd". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  20. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-01-27. Retrieved 2019-12-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "SORD to Develop Concussion Reduction Helmet for Australian Army". 24 March 2020.
  22. ^ "Australian Defense Force selects Team Wendy® EXFIL® Ballistic Helmet". December 19, 2015. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  23. ^ "Australia's first combat helmet upgrade program starts in Victoria". 27 July 2021. Retrieved 2 October 2022.
  24. ^ "Soldier's Combat Ensemble". Retrieved Oct 2, 2022.
  25. ^ "ISOF Arms & Equipment Part 1 – Personal Equipment". Armament Research Services. 27 November 2016.
  26. ^ "Composite Helmet, Ballistic helmets, Military helmets IRELAND, IRISH helmet, Kevlar helmet". Archived from the original on 10 May 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 September 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ "Militares cambian de piel; tendrán uniformes más ligeros y seguros". Excélsior. August 12, 2019.
  29. ^ "One Force Magazine issue #3" (PDF). 2009. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  30. ^ " - Special Task Unit "Tiger" of the Republic Macedonia". Archived from the original on 2018-08-22. Retrieved 2017-11-10.

External links[edit]