Type 66 helmet

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JSDF candidates wearing Type 66 helmets with camouflage pattern on the helmet cover.
An explaining JGSDF soldier wearing helmet liners based on those of Type 66.

The Type 66 is a combat helmet that is used by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. It is also utilized in other branches such as the GSDF and MSDF. It has now been replaced by the Type 88 helmet.


The Type 66 is a combat helmet that is used by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. Other than the JSDF, it was also used by the MSDF. It has now been mostly replaced by the Type 88 helmet. Like the American M1 helmet upon which it was based, it is made of iron alloy.

History and design[edit]

Based on the US Army helmet type M1 used in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War, the helmet began to be used by the Police Reserve after the war and was officially adopted in 1966 after improvements to the design were carried out. The helmet is a dual structure, the outer shell and the inner helmet liner, the same design as the helmet used by the US military. The appearance of the helmet is also similar to the M1 type, though the shape of the helmet brim is slightly longer. In addition, as the M1 helmet was designed to fit the head of a typical Anglo-Saxon American, the inner helmet liner was re-designed to remove the problem of instability while being used by a Japanese wearer. Whereas the design of pre-war helmets was to prevent bullet penetration through the hardness of the helmet, the Type 66 high manganese steel helmet is designed to dent utilising the high flexibility of the material. For this reason, rather than wear the helmet directly on the head as with pre-war designs, the helmet is a dual structure, with the shell sitting on top of the helmet liner with a gap between the two layers. The material of the helmet liner is simple moulded resin. The total weight of the outer shell and helmet liner is 1.4 kilograms. The helmet Type 88 model was adopted in 1988, however a full update to the model has not taken place. The Type 66 is still in use in teaching and the Self-Defence Force reserve. And the helmet liners based on those of Type 66 are in use widely for non-combat missions.[1][2]


Unlike the Type 88 helmet model, the Type 66 is a "one-size-fits-all" design. Adjustment of the straps adjusted the position of the inner liner, positioning the band that holds the helmet against the head. The helmet chin strap is made of leather with a fixing bracket. On the outside of the shell is a belt of coloured cloth which can easily be removed. In some cases this strap was replaced by a personalised strap of the helmet owner.


  1. ^ Ministry of Defense (Japan) (2014-04-23). "Ministry of Defense specification sheet, LINER, GROUND TROOPS' HELMET" (PDF) (in Japanese language). 
  2. ^ Ministry of Defense (Japan) (2014-03-28). "Ground Self-Defense Forces Dress Manual" (PDF) (in Japanese language).