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Ops-Core Wins Norwegian Helmet Contract

Boston-based Ops-Core, Inc was awarded a contract last week to supply the Norwegian Army with their Future Assault Shell Technology (FAST) helmet. The FAST helmet will replace the current PASGT style aramid helmet manufactured by Cato Ringstad AS.

While specific numbers have not yet been released, the Norwegian Army will purchase enough helmets to not only outfit their active forces, but some of the National Guard as well. The current strength of the Norwegian Army sits at around 22,000. However, a post on a Norwegian military forum in July by someone close to the program forecasted the delivery of 1000 helmets for operational use before the end of the year.

In order to supply these helmets, Ops-Core won a year-long competitive program named “Project 4004” with several down select mile-stones which included troop trials, ballistic and other safety testing. Norwegian Special Forces have already been using the Ops-Core helmet for over a year in training as well as operational roles so Ops-Core’s selection, while arduous, was not surprising.

In a press release from Ops-Core, member of Norwegian Defense Logistic Organization (NDLO) program manager Per Morten Brunborg is quoted as saying, “The FAST helmet gave our program flexibility to adapt to a variety of service positions and mission profiles that were difficult to accomplish with only one helmet in the past.” He went on to add, “This helmet saves the overall program money by allowing us to field it service wide in several configurations, instead of having to field several different kinds of helmets like we used to. It’s also very beneficial that we can provide our soldiers better ballistic performance at a much lighter weight than our previous helmet. The Ops-Core FAST High Cut version provides the Norwegian Army the right balance between comfort and integration of attachments, which stress the soldiers neck less than the previous solutions and enhances the durability of the soldier.” As you can see, not only did the Norwegian Army find the FAST helmet’s modularity made possible by the Visual Augmentation System (VAS) shroud and Accessory Rail Connector (ARC) rails particularly desirable, but also its lightweight protection as well.

The FAST helmet boasts a ballistic shell developed during a multi-year collaboration effort between Ops-Core, Ceradyne and DSM Dyneema. Ceradyne, the sub-contractor who molds the shell, has a special seamless processing technique using Dyneema’s ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene material that yields outstanding ballistic protection at lower weights. Much of the systems technology used in this helmet has also been in the works over the last ten years with significant inputs from the US Army’s PEO Soldier, the Army Research Lab, and Natick Soldier Systems Center. The FAST helmet actually has more in common with the new Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH) for the US Army and Marine Corps than the baseline MICH.

Deliveries of the FAST helmet to Norway are scheduled to commence in 4th Quarter of 2011 and continue through 3rd Quarter of 2012. In what is most likely a Norwegian version of an IDIQ contract, it is valid for 10 years and is good for future Norwegian procurement and purchasing activities. On a final note, Ops-Core is well represented throughout Europe by Norwegian company NFM but the helmets will reportedly be manufactured in the US.

For more information, please visit the Ops-Core website at www.ops-core.com.

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3 Responses to “Ops-Core Wins Norwegian Helmet Contract”

  1. Kango says:

    416 and now Ops-Core helmets. Norwegians got their shit together.

  2. Lasse says:

    My head is crying with joy!
    Those who have used the Cato Ringstad helmet knows that their idea of a human head is not representative of what an actual human head is shaped like, not to mention the way it interferes with our issued body armor, making it impossible to acquire a good position to fire. Or the fact that with headset and ear pro, you might just as well use a heavy duty vice on your head, it will be equally comfortable.

    As for Home Guard (National Guard), it’s said that it will be “Innsats” who will be issued them. These are the most “active” unit in our Home Guard. One doubt I’ve heard regarding Innsats getting the helmet is the cost, it will be around 20% of our total personal equipment cost. All we can do is hope and pray.

    In the pipeline there is also planned a helmet cover, if that will be what Crye, Ops Core or a NFM design is unknown to me, but it will probably be woodland\snow and woodland\desert options available for us.

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