Helmets are among the oldest forms of personal protective equipment and are known to have been worn by the Akkadians/Sumerians in the 23rd century BC, Mycenaean Greeks since the 17th century BC, the Assyrians around 900 BC, ancient Greeks and Romans, throughout the Middle Ages, and up to the end of the 17th century by many combatants. Their materials and construction became more advanced as weapons became more and more powerful. Initially constructed from leather and brass, and then bronze and iron during the Bronze and Iron Ages, they soon came to be made entirely from forged steel in many societies after about 950 AD. At that time, they were purely military equipment, protecting the head from cutting blows with swords, flying arrows, and low-velocity musketry. Iron helmets were deployed into the cavalry of the Mali Empire to protect the cavalrymen and their mount.
Military use of helmets declined after 1670, and rifled firearms ended their use by foot soldiers after 1700 but the Napoleonic era saw ornate cavalry helmets reintroduced for cuirassiers and dragoons in some armies which continued to be used by French forces during World War I as late as 1915.
World War I and its increased use of artillery renewed the need for steel helmets, with the French Adrian helmet and the British Brodie helmet being the first modern steel helmets used on the battlefield, soon followed by the adoption of similar steel helmets, such as the Stahlhelm by the other warring nations. Such helmets offered protection for the head from shrapnel and fragments.
Today's militaries often use high quality helmets made of ballistic materials such as Kevlar and Twaron, which offer improved protection. Some helmets also have good non-ballistic protective qualities, against threats such as concussive shock waves from explosions.
Many of today's combat helmets have been adapted for modern warfare requirements and upgraded with STANAG rails to act as a platform for mounting cameras, video cameras and VAS Shrouds for the mounting of night vision goggles (NVG) and monocular night vision devices (NVD).
Beginning in the early 20th century, combat helmets have often been equipped with helmet covers to offer greater camouflage. There have been two main types of covers—mesh nets were earlier widely used, but most modern combat helmets use camouflage cloth covers instead.
By the late 20th century, starting in the 1970s and 1980s, new materials such as Kevlar and Twaron began replacing steel as the primary material for combat helmets, in an effort to improve weight, ballistics protection, and protection against head injuries caused by blasts. This practice still continues into the 21st century, with further advancement and refinements in the fibers used, design and shape of the helmet, and increased modularity. Early helmet systems of this new design are the American PASGT, the Spanish MARTE, the Italian SEPT-2 PLUS, and British Mk6.
List of military helmets
||United States||2019||US Army||Part of the U.S. Army Soldier Protection System (SPS)|
|STSh-81||Soviet Union||Titanium helmet|
|6B26||Russia||Part of Ratnik infantry system|
|6B27||Russia||Part of Ratnik infantry system|
|6B28||Russia||Part of Ratnik infantry system|
|6B7||Russia||Russian Army||This helmet and its variants are the standard-issue headgear of the Russian army, they also are replacing older helmets like the SSh-68; Part of Ratnik infantry system|
|6B7-1L||Russia||Russian Army and Russian Navy naval infantry||part of Ratnik infantry system|
|Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH)||United States||2002||US Army||Developed from the Modular Integrated Communications Helmet|
|BK-3 Helmet||Croatia||Croatian Army, Swedish Army, German Army, Kuwaiti Army, French Army, Singapore Army, Israel Army, Saudi Arabian Army, Polish Armed Forces, Australian Army, Turkish Armed Forces, Czech Army, Bulgarian Army, United Arab Emirates Army, Lithuanian Armed Forces, Mexican Army, Spanish Army, Pakistan Army, Malaysian Army, Saudi Arabian Army, Finnish Army, National Army of Colombia, Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Indonesian Army, Italian Army, Military of Hungary, Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic, People's Liberation Army and by the police forces of the following countries: Croatia, Turkey, UK, Spain, North Macedonia, Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Colombia, Italy, Ukraine, by Argentina and by the UN demining committee.||Gefechtshelm M92-style helmet produced by Šestan-Busch made from Aramid fibre, with antiballistic protection level IIIA according to NIJ 0106.01 and antiballistic protection v50≥ 650 m/s according to STANAG 2920. As with the German M92, the BK-3 comes with a three-point chin strap. The BK-3 replaced the Šestan-Busch BK-9 which was the first Croatian version of the Gefechtshelm M92 except it used the original U.S PASGT suspension head system.|
|BK-6||Mexico||Mexican Army||Kevlar helmet, adopted in the 2000s (decade). used in conjunction supplementation role with the PASGT. - Imported helmet.|
|BK-ACH Helmet||Croatia||Croatian Army||ACH shape helmet produced by Šestan-Busch, alternative to BK-3|
|CABAL II||Argentina||Argentine Army Infantry||PASGT style ballistic helmet M-6 for Argentine Infantry Approved by CITEFA NIJ Level II according to the standards currently in stage R3B certified to MIL-Std 662 E. However it wasn't issued in large scales.|
|Capacete Combate Ballistico (CCB)||Brazil||Brazilian Armed Forces||U.S PASGT-shape helmet in two versions: Polymer and Kevlar.|
|CG634||Canada||1997||Canadian Forces||Canadian variant of the French Gallet F2 SPECTRA helmet similar to the U.S Military MICH 2000/ACH helmet (in that it has no peak) but with the U.S PASGT/French F2 helmet suspension system. Issued in 1997.|
|Cobra Plus Combat Helmet||United States||2013||Danish Army and British Forces|
|Enhanced Combat Helmet (Australia)||Israel||2004 (Australia)
|Australian Defence Force, New Zealand Defence Force||The RBH 303AU model was made specially for the ADF, replacing the M91 PASGT helmet. MICH 2000 style helmet made by Rabintex, Israel Was adopted by NZDF from 2009-2019|
|Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH)||United States||2012||Designed as an upgrade to the Advanced Combat Helmet. Uses thermoplastics instead of ballistic fibers.|
|EXFIL Ballistic Helmet||United States||2016||Australian Defence Force||Tiered Combat Helmet (TCH) forms part of the Soldier Combat Ensemble and includes gun rails and night vision goggle mount.|
|Gefechtshelm Schuberth B826 (M92)||Germany||1992||Bundeswehr, Austrian Federal Police, Bahrain Defence Force M1 helmet-based suspension system., Belgian military, Czech Army under license as the Petris P-3001, Danish Army, Dutch Army, Estonian Defence Forces, Norwegian Army, Swiss Armed Forces||PASGT type helmet with a sloping peak, rather than the defined peak of the U.S PASGT helmet. Has a 3-point retention strap system.|
|Gefechtshelm Schuberth B828 Airborne and B828 Tactical Cut||Germany||Limited use by the paratroops in Bundeswehr like Fallschirmjäger, Spezialisierte Kräfte des Heeres mit Erweiterter Grundbefähigung für Spezielle Operationen and Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK) -||MICH 2000 and MICH 2001 type helmets|
|GIDs Ballistic Helmet||Pakistan||Pakistan Army||Pakistan Army issues GIDs Ballistic Helmet similar to the Lightweight Helmet.|
|GK80||People's Republic of China||People's Liberation Army, Albania|
|GOLFO||Chile||Military of Chile||Chilean PASGT-derived helmet. The helmet is locally made by Baselli Hermanos S.A of kevlar and was introduced in 2000. It is capable of stopping a 9×19mm round at 310m.|
|Helm wz. 2005||Poland||2005||Polish Armed Forces.||Supplementing the older Helm wz. 93 currently in use. PASGT-type helmet. The 2005 version, made by MASKPOL, came with a 4-point chin strap. The earlier Helm Wz.2000 helmet came with a 3-point chin strap. The peak of the helmet is closer to the original U.S PASGT helmet than other European variants in that the peak has more of the lip of the PASGT than the European-style sloping peak.|
|Helm wz. 2000||Poland||2000||Polish Armed Forces.|
|Helm wz. 93||Poland||1993||Polish Armed Forces.||Being replaced by the Helm wz. 2005.|
|Hjälm 90||Sweden||Swedish Armed Forces|
|Hjelm Cato||Norway||Early 2000s||Norwegian Armed Forces||Similar to the Swedish Hjalm 90.|
|M/92 Komposiittikypärä (also known as K-92)||Finland||Finnish Defense Forces.||Gefechtshelm M92-style PASGT helmet but with U.S PASGT style suspension system. Replaced in the early 2000s (decade) by the M/02. PASGT-Hjelm style blend helmet|
|KASDA||Israel||Israel Defense Forces, Guatemalan Army|
|Kyung Chang Industry (KCI)||South Korea||Republic of Korea Armed Forces||PASGT type helmet|
|Kolpak 2||Russia||Russian army|
|Lightweight Helmet (LWH)||United States||United States Marine Corps||PASGT-style helmet with four-point retention strap system and velcro-attached head pad system. Also used by NZDF since the 2000s.|
|M02 Composite Helmet||Finland||Finnish Defence Forces||Upgraded PASGT-style helmet, replacing the Gefechtshelm M92-style M/92 Komposiittikypärä helmet.|
|M76 paratrooper helmet||United Kingdom||1976||British Armed forces Paratroopers and Airborne units|
|M80 Helmet||Iraq||1980||Iraqi Army||Plastic and cloth copy of the M1 Helmet, Developed during Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Limited use on the modern Iraqi army.|
|M80/03 Helmet||Iraq||1980||Iraqi Army||Improved and stronger variant of the M80 helmet, this version has a distinct cover|
|M83 helmet||South Africa||1983||Paratroopers of the South African Army||Variant of the OR-201 helmet|
|M87||South Africa||1987||South African Army||Similar to U.S PASGT Kevlar helmet, replacing earlier Israeli-style helmet in use since the 1980s|
|M90 Helmet||Iraq||Another Iraqi copy of the M1 helmet, unlike the M80 helmet the M90 helmet is composed purely of plastic|
|M91 helmet||Australia||Australian Defence Force.||PASGT-style kevlar helmet. Was made by RBR Armour Systems Pty Ltd (Australia) introduced 1991. The Australian PASGT helmet was identical to the USA PASGT helmet with the exception of a 3-point chin strap, much like the chin strap of the German B826 Gefechsthelm. Was replaced in 2004 by the Israeli-made Australian Enhanced Combat helmet.|
|MARTE helmet||Spain||1985||Spanish Armed Forces, Spanish Navy Marines||Versions I to IV, MARTE IV Kevlar helmet currently used by the Spanish Armed Forces. Similar to the PASGT. MICH type helmet replacing it in the Navy Marines.|
|Mile Dragić M-05||Serbia||2005||Serbian Special Forces||MICH type helmet|
|Mile Dragić M-97||Serbia||1997||Serbian Army||PASGT type helmet|
|Mk. 6 Helmet||United Kingdom||British Armed Forces.||being replaced by the Mk. 7 Helmet|
|Mk. 7 Helmet||United Kingdom||British Armed Forces|
|MKH/PA-1||India||Indian Armed Forces||Kevlar helmet worn is a PASGT type helmet.|
|MICH TC-2000||United States||special operations - United States Army||Developed for special operations use and became the basis for the Advanced Combat Helmet|
|MICH TC-2001||United States||special operations - United States Army||"High cut" version of the MICH 2000. It removes all ear protection enabling head gear to be worn|
|MICH TC-2002||United States||special operations - United States Army||"Gunfighter cut", which raises the area around the ears by about 1/2", allowing for a wider range of headsets to be used and roughly meeting the profile of the skateboard and whitewater helmets previously used by special forces.|
|MPC-1||Slovenia||Variant of OR-201 helmet|
|NP Aerospace AC200/650||Greece||Special Forces unit of the Hellenic Army, Hellenic Navy and Hellenic Air Force||- Gefechshelm type helmet. - Hellenic Army, Navy and Air Force primarily use the PASGT|
|Ops-Core FAST Helmet||United States||2009||United States special operations, United States SWAT and Law Enforcement, German Bundeswehr, Norwegian Armed Forces, Australian Defence Force, Australian Federal Police and others.|
|OR-201||Israel||1976||Israel Defense Forces, Some units of Special forces of Indian Army, Irish Defence Force, Lebanon (Lebanese Forces, South Lebanon Army, Hezbollah, Lebanese Army), Honduran Army, Guatemalan Army, Peruvian Army, Romanian Army, Nicaragua (National Guard and Police), Portugal (Portuguese Marine Corps), South African Defence Force, Chilean Army (1st Parachutists Battalion "Pelantaru" (1º Batallón de Paracaidistas "Pelantaru")), Sri Lanka, and other countries.|
|PATKA||India||Indian Armed Forces||Indigenously built helmet. It can prevent 7.62mm AKM round|
|PASGT helmet||United States||1983||United States Military, Argentine Army, Mexican Army, New Zealand Defence Force, Iraq||First issued in 1983 to replace the M1 helmet. Former kevlar helmet used by the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy. Used by the USAF, but is being phased out by the ACH US Air Force. Adopted by the Mexican Armed Forces in the 1990s to replace the M1 helmet. Replaced the M1 helmet of the Argentine army and modified with padded interiors. US-made PASGT helmets by UNICOR replaced the New Zealand M1 helmet in the 2000s. The NZ PASGT was a copy of the USMC Lightweight helmet in that it shares the 4-point retention system and head pad system.|
|QGF02||People's Republic of China||1994||People's Liberation Army|
|QGF03||People's Republic of China||2005||People's Liberation Army|
|QGF11||People's Republic of China||People's Liberation Army|
|RBH303IE||Ireland||Irish Defence Force||Variant of the Enhanced Combat Helmet (Australia) helmet made by Rabintex|
|Savar SVRH01||Turkey||Turkish Armed Forces and General Directorate of Security|
|Savar SVRH02||Turkey||Police Special Operation Department of the General Directorate of Security|
|Sistema Compositi SEPT-2 PLUS||Italy||Italian Armed Forces|
|Sistema Compositi SUPERUBOTT||Italy||Special Units (particularly GIS) of the Italian Law Enforcement community|
|F2 SPECTRA||France||1992||Danish Army, French Army, Canadian military, Austrian Army, Bangladesh Army, Malta Army, Royal Moroccan Army, Ukrainian Ground Forces, and United Nations peacekeeping forces||PASGT shape helmet produced by Gallet of France, introduced early 1990s. 'Spectra' is a brand-name of a type of resistant fibre, not the actual name of the helmet. Unlike most other European PASGT style helmets, the peak of the F2 has the same defined lip as the original U.S PASGT helmet, whereas other European PASGT-style helmets (such as the German M92 and the Croatian BK-3) tend to have a sloping peak.|
|Type 88 Helmet||Japan||JSDF||PASGT type helmet|
Medieval and early Modern
German great helm of the 12th or 13th century.
Italian bascinet from about 1400.
English sallet of the 15th century.
16th century Ottoman Zischagge.
French morion helmet, 17th century.
An early 19th century French officer's dragoon helmet.
|Armet||15th century||Western Europeans.|
|Barbute||15th century||Italian states.|
|Bascinet||c. 1300||Europeans during the Hundred Years' War(1337 to 1453) amid the kingdoms of France, Aquitaine, Burgundy and England|
|Burgonet||c. 1600||Europeans, especially by militias of Poland & Switzerland|
|Capeline||late 16th century||Europeans during the 17th century, including the English Civil War in England & Thirty Years' War across the Holy Roman Empire|
|Cervelliere||late 13th century||Christian Europeans in Crusades during the 14th century|
|Close helmet||late 15th century||Western Europeans.|
|Dragoon helmet||late 18th century||France .|
|Enclosed helmet||late 12th century||Western Europeans.|
|Frog-mouth helm||c. 1600||Western Europeans.|
|Great helm||1189||Christian Europeans in Third Crusade; other Europeans until 1540|
|Hounskull||14th century||Western Europeans.|
|Kabuto||c. 1600||Samurai especially during the 17th century of the Edo-period Tokugawa shogunate in Medieval Japan.|
|Kettle hat||12th century||Common all over medieval Europe.|
|Morion||16th and early 17th centuries||Europeans (esp. associated with Spanish Conquistadores)|
|Nasal helmet||Early Middle Ages||Byzantine Empire, later common all over Europe.|
|Pickelhaube||1842||especially by Prussia & German Empire and other Europeans until 1918; revived for 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany|
|Raupenhelm||c. 1800-1870||High crested leather helmet used primarily by Kingdom of Bavaria and Württemberg|
|Sallet||c. 1450||used in Northern Europe & Hungary until the mid-16th century|
|Secrete||17th century||Western Europeans|
|Spangenhelm||5th century||Central Asia, Near East & Europe; espec. by Scythians, Sarmatians, Persians, & Germans until 1000|
|Tarleton||c. 1770-1800||Crested, peaked leather helmet used by cavalry and light infantry by Great Britain, France and USA in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.|
|Qing parade helmet||after 1655 till 1911||China|
|Zischagge||c. 1600-1780||Originated in Ottoman Empire, used by the most of the Europe.|
See also headgear listing within Components of medieval armour.
Roman legionary helmet or galea
|Attic helmet||ancient Greeks|
|Boar's tusk helmet||17th century BCE||Mycenaean Greeks until the 10th century BCE|
|Boeotian helmet||ancient Greek cavalry|
|Chalcidian helmet||ancient Greeks|
|Corinthian helmet||ancient Greeks|
|Disc and stud helmet||c. 400 BCE||ancient Illyrians & Adriatic Veneti until 167 BCE|
|Galea (helmet)||ancient Romans|
|Horned helmet||c. 1000 BCE||Celtic Europeans until 700 CE|
|Illyrian type helmet||ancient Greeks|
|Negau helmet||ancient Etruscans in Negau, Slovenia|
|Montefortino helmet||ancient Romans|
|Pot helmet||ancient Illyrians|
|Phrygian/Thracian helmet||5th century BCE||ancient Greeks in Thrace, Dacia, Italia & Hellenistic Europe until c. 200 CE|
Cushioning is used to negate concussive injuries. Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory published a study in 2011 that concluded that the addition of an eighth of an inch/3 millimetres of cushion decreased the impact force to the skull by 24%.
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