S10 NBC Respirator

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Standard Issue S10 respirator
Type Military, Law Enforcement
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1986–present
Used by British Military, various British police forces
Production history
Manufacturer Avon
Variants See Variants

The S10 NBC Respirator is a military gas mask used within all branches of the British armed forces, and is currently in working service. The S10 is also widely available to the public on the army surplus market.


The S10 was introduced in 1986 as a replacement for the S6 NBC Respirator[1] in service from the 1960s, and is manufactured by Avon Rubber. S10s were issued to British nationals in Saudi Arabia during the 1991 Gulf War and were marked by a blue coloured PSM (Primary Speech Module) fitting or a blue painted spot on the forehead; although meant to be returned to the authorities after the Iraqi threat (from Scud missile attacks, potentially carrying chemical warheads) had expired, large numbers were unaccounted for in the wake of the conflict.[citation needed]

The S10 respirator was originally due to be replaced by the new General Service Respirator (GSR) in 2007, although it was largely replaced in 2011 and all S10 Respirators will be disposed of when the filters expire (the last of which will be in 2014) no new S10 Respirators will be bought [2]


Two filter canisters are issued for the S10, as with the S6; a light pressed metal type for riot control situations or training (marked with a painted red stripe or red tape), and a heavier plastic encased type for protection against NBC agents. The latter have a maximum shelf-life of 10 years, and the mask itself (the facepiece) of 20 years. The mask has many features including a fail-safe drinking device, a Secondary Speech Transmitter (SST) on the side which can accept special microphones, and corrective lenses can be fitted to the eyepieces. The mask also contains an inner mask to decrease fogging on the lenses.


Variants include:[3]

  • SF10, intended for security and special forces use (replaced, at least in SAS service, by the CT12)
  • AR10 for police forces
  • N10, a commercial version.