Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops
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|Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops|
A PASGT vest and helmet in 1991, equipped with U.S. Woodland camouflage covers.
|Type||Combat helmet and bulletproof vest|
|Place of origin||United States of America|
|In service||1983–2017 (U.S. military)|
1985–present (Other countries)
|Used by||United States Navy (primary)|
U.S. Army (historical)
U.S. Marine Corps (historical)
U.S. Air Force (historical)
See Users for other foreign military/law enforcement users
|Wars||Invasion of Grenada (first usage)|
Invasion of Panama
Persian Gulf War
Battle of Mogadishu
|Designer||U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center|
|Designed||1975 (vest), 1977 (helmet)|
|Variants||U.S. Navy Flak Jacket (Mk 1, Mod 0)|
|Weight||1.41 kg (3.1 lb) to 1.91 kg (4.2 lb), depending on size (Helmet)|
Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops (PASGT, pronounced // PAZ-gət) is a combat helmet and ballistic vest that was used by the United States military from the early 1980s until the mid-2000s, when the helmet and vest were succeeded by the Lightweight Helmet (LWH), Modular Integrated Communications Helmet (MICH), and Interceptor body armor (IBA) respectively.
Designed in the mid-1970s as a replacement for the M1 helmet and previous fragmentation vests, prototypes of the PASGT were tested in the late 1970s before being fielded in the early 1980s. In the early 2000s, the PASGT vest was replaced by the IBA and the PASGT helmet was replaced soon thereafter with the LWH and MICH. As of 2017, the only remaining U.S. military user of PASGT is the U.S. Navy, which uses the PASGT helmet for use by sailors aboard its warships, in addition to a PASGT-derived vest known as the "U.S. Navy Flak Jacket".
- 1 Name
- 2 Helmet
- 3 Vest
- 4 Users
- 5 PASGT helmet variants and derivatives
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
PASGT is an acronym, standing for Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops. When used by itself, PASGT refers to both the vest and helmet together.
In the U.S. military, the PASGT helmet was most commonly known by its wearers as simply the "Kevlar". The nickname has since been adopted for usage with other helmet. The PASGT helmet was also referred to by its wearers in the U.S. military as the "K-pot", similar in name to the colloquial nickname "steel pot" for the steel M1 helmet, which was in widespread U.S. military usage from the 1940s, to the 1970s, including the Vietnam War. The PASGT helmet was also, but less commonly, known by its wearers as the "Fritz" helmet for its resemblance to the Stahlhelm, which was the standard helmet used by the German military forces in the First and Second World Wars.
On the other hand, the PASGT vest was colloquially known as the "flak vest" by its wearers in the U.S. military.
The Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops Helmet is a combat helmet first employed by the U.S. military in 1983 and eventually adopted by many other military and law enforcement agencies internationally. The shell is made from 19 layers of Kevlar, a ballistic aramid fabric treated with a phenolic resin system and is rated at a Threat Level IIIA as per DARPA, USMC, and U.S. Army and offers protection against shrapnel and ballistic threats. It meets the 1800 requirement of MIL-STD-662 E. It weighs from 3.1 lb (1,410 g) (size extra small) to 4.2 lb (1,910 g) (extra large).
The PASGT helmet is typically olive drab in color and can be fitted with cloth helmet covers to increase camouflaging capabilities, which come in a wide array of varying camouflage patterns, including, but not limited to, Woodland, six-color desert, three-color desert, and winter/snow white, solid black, for tactical police applications, as well as the U.S. Marine Corps's MARPAT and the U.S. Army's Universal Camouflage Pattern.
The PASGT helmet is also used by various SWAT teams, where it is often black, with or without covering. It is also used by United Nations Peacekeeping forces where it is often painted United Nations blue to match the colors of the United Nations flag.
When worn with a helmet cover, the PASGT helmet is also often fitted with a band around it that has two light recharging glow patches (sometimes known as cat eyes) on the rear intended to reduce friendly fire incidents. These bands are also used to hold vegetation or small personal items, as with the M1 helmet before it, during the later decades of its service life. These bands can also have names and/or ABO blood types printed on them to help identify the blood type the wearer in case a blood transfusion is required as a result of blood loss due to wounds received on the battlefield. In the U.S. Army, PASGT helmets often featured a patch with the wearer's rank insignia on it stitched onto the front, and/or a second patch showing the symbol of the wearer's unit on the sides. The U.S. Marines wore the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor branch of service insignia on the front of the helmet as an iron-on transfer, similar to the one worn by Marines on the breast pocket of the BDU. This practice continued with the adoption of the LWH, but fell out of use and was discontinued because the mounting base for night vision devices covered the emblem, and required a hole in the fabric to attach, defacing the symbol.
The PASGT helmet was developed by the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center after the Vietnam War during the mid-to-late the late 1970s. It completely replaced the steel M1 helmet in U.S. military service by the end of the 1980s. It first saw use in combat in 1983 during Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada, and became standard issue for the U.S. military in 1985, and completely replaced the M1 helmet for frontline troops by the end of the decade. Army soldiers stationed in Alaska were some of the last to receive the helmets, some not getting the PASGT until 1988.
There are various available add-on accessories for the PASGT helmet, including:-
- A helmet mount assembly to attach night vision goggles, such as the NE-6015 or AN/PVS-14 MNVD, the F5001B or AN/PVS-7B.
- A riot control visor.
The PASGT helmet was replaced in U.S. military service by the Lightweight Helmet for the U.S. Marine Corps and the Modular Integrated Communications Helmet by the U.S. Army, which was in turn replaced by the Advanced Combat Helmet, which the U.S. Army currently uses.
Both the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army are looking at yet another helmet replacement for their PASGT helmet successors: the Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH) with distribution to start in 2014.
However, the PASGT system is still used by some U.S. allies and still sees some continued limited use in the U.S. military as of 2017, where it serves as one of various vests for sailors assigned to duty on board U.S. Navy vessels.
Usage by civilians
The PASGT helmet and its many derivative variants have become popular with civilian news media reporters and journalists reporting from war zones across the world, who will often wear them, should the situation warrant the usage of a helmet. Additionally, private U.S. "militias" also use them from time to time.
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The vest of the Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops was the United States military's standard upper torso body armor from the mid-1980s up until the early 2000s, when it was replaced by the Outer Tactical Vest of the Interceptor body armor system. The PASGT vest replaced the M-69 Fragmentation Protective Body Armor nylon vest in use by the Army, and the M-1955 Fragmentation Protective Body Army nylon and Doron Plate vest in use with the Marine Corps.
The PASGT vest utilized Kevlar for the first time in the United States military's body armor, unlike the Ballistic nylon that was used in the models of body armor that preceded it. While generally incapable of stopping rifle bullets, the PASGT vest provided better protection against shrapnel and reduced the severity of injuries from small arms fire when compared to the M-69. Despite its ability to stop pistol rounds, including 9×19mm Parabellum FMJ, the vest was only ever designed or intended to stop small fragments without injury to the user. The PASGT vest weighs approximately 9 lb (4,080 g), a small increase over the previous model.
The PASGT vest itself is covered with Woodland pattern nylon fabric (a very limited number were made in olive drab but only Woodland versions were issued to US forces); to increase stealth capabilities on the part of the wearer camouflage covers were worn atop it in various camouflage patterns. Early camouflage covers were in DBDU but later came in the DCU pattern. The prototype versions of the vest from the 1970s were in the ERDL pattern.
In January 2000, the U.S. Navy began using a derivative variant of the PASGT vest known as the "U.S. Navy Flak Jacket Mk 1, Mod 0". This vest was still being used by the U.S. Navy as late as April 2017. The USN Flak Jacket is sage green or brown in color. Although this vest is quite similar in appearance to the PASGT vest, it actually is a different model of vest altogether.
Accessories and usage
In order to provide protection against high velocity bullets, the PASGT vest was, in 1996, combined with the Interim Small Arms Protective Overvest (ISAPO) pending the adoption of Interceptor body armor. The ISAPO weighed about 16.5 lb (7,480 g) and consisted of a carrier to hold two protective ceramic plate inserts. A PASGT armor system with overvest weighed more than 25.1 lb (11,390 g) and was criticized by many U.S. troops as unacceptably cumbersome in combat. The ballistic fill consists of 13 plies of 14 oz. water repellent treated Aramid (Kevlar 29) fabric. The inner and outer cover, shoulder pads and front closure flap of the vest are water repellent treated 8 oz. ballistic nylon cloth.
While it had been phased out as frontline body armor by the start of the Iraq War in 2003, the PASGT vest saw some limited wear and usage by United States military personnel during the early stages of the war, where it was worn behind the frontlines by rear-echelon support personnel and navy sailors such as Seabees. Some U.S. Army soldiers would utilize old PASGT vests as makeshift armor as protection for their vehicles in the absence of purpose-made, designated up-armor kits.
The PASGT vest was succeeded in U.S. military service by the Outer Tactical Vest of the Interceptor Body Armor system, which was, in turn, partly replaced by the Modular Tactical Vest, Improved Outer Tactical Vest, and Scalable Plate Carrier. However, the PASGT vest still sees some limited use in the U.S. military as of 2016, where it serves as one of many vests for sailors assigned to duty on board U.S. Navy vessels.
- Afghanistan: Uses ArmorSource-made PASGT helmets provided through FMS sales.
- Argentina: Used by Argentine Army.
- Australia: Known to be made by RBR Armor Systems for the Australian Navy's Clearance Diving Team operators. Variant of the helmet used in service as the M91.
- Brazil: Used both American and Brazilian-made PASGT helmets.
- Bolivia: Adopted by the Bolivian Armed Forces in the 1990s.
- Costa Rica: Used since 1990s by various Costa Rican public security units.
- Dominican Republic: Used by the Dominican military, replacing all M1s.
- Ecuador: Ecuadorian-made PASGT helmets in use by the military.
- El Salvador: Used in El Salvadorian military to replace M1s.
- Georgia: PASGT helmets made by STC Delta are used by the Georgian military.
- Greece: Used by Hellenic Army.
- Haiti: Used by Haitian National Police.
- Honduras: Used by most Honduran military units.
- Iraq: Used by Iraqi commandos operating under Counter-Terrorism Service mandate.
- Israel: Used by the Israeli military, most supplied by the US with some made by Orlite.
- Lebanon: Standard issue helmet of the Lebanese Armed Forces
- Mexico: Mexican military uses both American and Mexican-made PASGT helmets.
- Nicaragua: PASGT helmets have been used since the 1990s by the Nicaraguan military.
- Paraguay: PASGT helmets replaced M1s in the Paraguayan military.
- Portugal: Used by Portuguese Army.
- Philippines: Some known to be in use with the Philippine Marine Corps.
- Saudi Arabia: Used by Saudi Arabian Army and Saudi National Guard.
- Slovenia: Used by the Slovenian Special Police Unit (Specialna Enota Policije).
- Uruguay: Mostly used by Uruguay UN troops. Some are used by the National Police of Uruguay.
- Taiwan: Taiwanese-made PASGT helmets made for the Republic of China military.
- Turkey: PASGT used by Amphibious Marine Brigade and Underwater Offence.
- United States
- Ukraine: Used by Aidar/Donbas Battalions.
- Venezuela: Uses PASGT helmets made in China for the Venezuelan military.
- Canada: Formerly used by the Canadian Army in the 1990s during peacekeeping activities in the Balkans.
- Singapore: PASGT helmets formerly used by the Singapore Armed Forces made by International Scientific Pte Ltd. with some refurbished by All Defense Technology Pte Ltd.
- United States
PASGT helmet variants and derivatives
|CABAL II||Argentina||Argentine PASGT derived helmet.|
|Capacete Combate Ballistico||Brazil||Brazilian PASGT derived helmet.|
|GOLFO||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.|
|Gefechtshelm Schuberth B826 helmet||Germany||German military helmet, used primarily by the German Bundeswehr, Swiss Armed Forces, Dutch Army, and the Estonian Defence Forces.|
|SPECTRA helmet||France||French military helmet, used primarily by the Danish Army, French Army and the Canadian military.|
|JK 96a light Light Steel Helmet||China||Chinese military light steel helmet. PASGT-derivative replica helmet, made of light steel and not Kevlar. Used primarily by the People's Liberation Army of the People's Republic of China.|
|JK 96b Light Steel Helmet||China||Chinese military light steel helmet. PASGT-derivative replica helmet, made of light steel and not Kevlar. Used primarily by the People's Liberation Army of the People's Republic of China.|
|NDH 2001 helmet||China||Chinese helmet, produced by the China North Industries Corporation. Norinco produces two types of these PASGT-derivative replica helmets, designed towards civilian police usage.|
|NDH 2006 helmet||China||Chinese helmet, produced by the China North Industries Corporation. Norinco produces two types of these PASGT-derivative replica helmets, designed towards civilian police usage.|
|OE Tech Tactical helmet||China||Replica helmet only.|
|M97 Helmet||Serbia||Serbian PASGT derived helmet.|
|C-1 Kevlar helmet||Singapore||Used primarily by the Singaporean Armed Forces.|
|Type 88 helmet||Japan||Japanese military helmet, used by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the Japanese Coast Guard.|
|M87 Kevlar helmet||South Africa||South African helmet issued to the SADF. Made by South African Pith Helmet Industries.|
|Kevlar VestGuard helmet||United Kingdom||The British VestGuard helmet comes in two different variants, the M88 version, and the Kevlar version. Also made by LBA International Ltd.|
|M88 VestGuard helmet||United Kingdom||The British VestGuard helmet comes in two different variants, the M88 version, and the Kevlar version. Also made by LBA International Ltd.|
|Advanced Combat Helmet||United States||Used primarily by the United States Army and United States Air Force, although it sees widespread usage throughout the U.S. military and is widely used among civilian law enforcement throughout the United States. The ACH helmet is based upon the design of the Modular Integrated Communications Helmet, offering increased ballistic protection over the MICH helmet on which it is based. The ACH helmet has replaced the PASGT helmet in United States Army usage, and is the successor to the MICH helmet.|
|Lightweight Helmet||United States||Used primarily by the United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy. Abbreviated to LWH, the Lightweight Helmet is heavily based upon the PASGT helmet design, being nearly identical in appearance, however it offers increased ballistic protection and wearer comfort over the preceding PASGT helmet. The Lightweight Helmet has replaced the PASGT helmet in United States Marine Corps and United States Navy service.|
|Modular Integrated Communications Helmet||United States||Used primarily by the United States Army and United States Air Force, although it sees widespread usage throughout the U.S. military and is widely used among civilian law enforcement throughout the United States. The Modular Integrated Communications Helmet is the predecessor to the Advanced Combat Helmet, which is an improved design, based upon the design of the MICH helmet.|
- Interceptor body armor, the body armor that succeeded the PASGT vest in U.S. military service.
- Borit-M 6B7, the new Kevlar helmets used by the Russian Ground Forces with similar styling as PASGT.
- New Helmets By 1988: Army Replaces 'Steel Pot', Tyrone Daily Herald, May 6, 1983, Page 1.
- "The "Fritz" Helmet - Soldier Systems Daily". soldiersystems.net.
- "U.S. Military Body Armor PASGT".
- Pike, John. "Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops (PASGT) Vest". www.globalsecurity.org.
- "Kevlar PASGT Helmet".
- Brass Fetcher (10 December 2011). "PASGT Vest Ballistic Resistance and NIJ Threat Level" – via YouTube.
- "Green PASGT flak jacket - NOT camouflaged ? - BODY ARMOR". U.S. Militaria Forum. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
- "Kevlar helmet + body armor, front viewa". 1975. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
- "CEMEL, body armor, vest & helmet, infantry, new - field test - sitting w/bazooka". 1975. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
- "Cemel, kevlar helmet with camouflage cover".
- Morris, Tyrell K. (April 12, 2017). "170412-N-NB178-035". United States Navy. United States Department of the Navy. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
Bristol Rollins, right, and Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Seaman Jonathan Christian man a .50-caliber machine gun aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103).
- "Green PASGT flak jacket - NOT camouflaged ? - BODY ARMOR". U.S. Militaria Forum. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
- "Interim Small Arms Protective Overvest". 21 December 2001. Archived from the original on 21 December 2001.
- "Biting the Bullet". web-beta.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2017-08-30.
- Private Military Contractor International May 2016, pages 30-31
- "Republic of Georgia Introduces Body Armor Manufacturing Capability - The Firearm Blog". 2 August 2017.
- "USS STOUT (DDG 55) TRAINING".
- "70 helmets got into the hands of Donbas and Aidar battalions". Archived from the original on 2016-08-10.
- "Composite Helmet, Ballistic helmets, Military helmets SINGAPORE, SINGAPOREAN helmet, Kevlar helmet". www.gostak.co.uk.
- Pike, John. "Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops Helmet". www.globalsecurity.org.
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