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More on Galea

Information on the new Dutch combat helmet continues to trickle out of the Netherlands. The article from the Dutch Ministry of Defense reveals Galea to be a component of Project VOSS (Verbeterd Operationeel Soldaten Systeem) or Improved Operational Soldiers’ System, IOSS in English.

Dutch NBC Mockup

A translation of an informational piece released by TNO

“TNO has developed a new multipurpose helmet for the Defense Materials Organization (DMO). The helmet’s design is based on operational experience from recent deployments such as the current one in Afghanistan. When/if all the tests are completed successfully, the Galea (Roman word for helmet) will begin issue by 2011.

The new helmet stems from the Verbeterd Operationeel Soldaten Systeem (VOSS in Dutch or Improved Operational Soldiers’System, IOSS in English) and offers some tremendous advantages. The Galea weighs less, has a better fit and offers better protection. The helmet consists of multiple detachable parts, and the intention is that the dressed down variant has a friendly, approachable appearance. This benefits contact with the local population when out on patrol.

Galea weighs 1100 grams, almost half the weight of the current helmet, which has been in use since the 1990’s.

The helmet fitting form has been improved professionally, resulting in a secure fit on the head. New as well is the ergonomic mount for night vision goggles and the helmet may possibly be equipped with an air conditioning system, situated between the helmet and the head.

It is also fitted with separate neck, jaw, and ear pieces which cancel out noise at high ambient sound levels. TNO is currently researching how it can improve the protection of neck, throat, and face even more. The first test run of Galea helmets will be evaluated in the field later this year. The design itself has received several awards at a innovation summit in Prague.

More wearer comfort, more flexibility, and better protection are core components of Project VOSS. In addition to the helmet, a smart vest and a communications and combat information module are also being developed under the project. The goal is to improve and harmonize the battlefield capabilities of the soldier as much as possible. His gear is no longer is a collection of individual components, but a lightweight, wearable system in which the components needed are integrated as much as possible.

5500 frontline troops have been selected for participation in VOSS which is an evolution of the Soldier Modernization Program (SMP), which started in 1998.”

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