ProTact by Haartz

F3 – French Army’s New Helmet

During the recent Eurosatory expo in Paris, the French Army unveiled their new F3 combat helmet.

This aramid helmet offers a new rail configuration as well as additional Velcro. This upgrade retains compatibility with FELIN accessories but increases the ability to integrate additional capabilities.

The French military is investing in multiple upgrades for the individual Soldier such as the new BME camouflage pattern and F3 uniform cut pursuant to the Military Programming Act (MPA) 2019-2025.

3 Responses to “F3 – French Army’s New Helmet”

  1. Jake says:


    The French Army was the first to move beyond aramid and issue UHMWPE fiber composite helmets. This was back in the mid 90s, with the “F2″/SPECTRA helmet. At the time, the use of UHMWPE materials in helmets was viewed as unorthodox and even quite risky. (The Canadians copied the design — basically the cut, the retention system, and the sizing — of the SPECTRA, but, out of an abundance of caution, decided to construct their version out of aramid instead. The result was the CG634.)

    The SPECTRA had its share of design flaws, but the UHMWPE shell seems to have performed extremely well. Its performance-to-weight ratio still compares favorably to all modern helmets.

    I believe that the Felin helmet which replaced the SPECTRA was also made primarily of UHMWPE. That it was, in effect, a SPECTRA helmet in a more modern cut and with better pads and accessories. In certain press releases and written descriptions, it’s sometimes called “a SPECTRA helmet.” And, besides, it wasn’t named the “F3.”

    Well, here we have it. It’s extremely curious that the French appear to be moving (backwards?) to aramid just as other nations are beginning to adopt UHMWPE — for e.g. in the US military’s IHPS series of helmets.

    French-language media also note that the F3 is made of aramid, so it doesn’t appear to be a typo or mistake:

    I don’t want to speculate as to the new helmet’s performance characteristics, or what might have brought about this change. But I am keenly interested in that information. What I suppose we can say for certain is that the French aren’t chasing the “rifle resistant helmet” trend.

  2. Cuvie says:

    I see they’ve taken the “why not both?” approach when it comes to helmet mounting hardware

  3. Bootcat says:

    This is actually the older F2 helmet painted in coyote and retrofitted with new rails. The ballistic composition is still aramid with UHWPE being investigated for the next generation helmet (F4) currently under development.