PEO Soldier Equips First Unit with the Army’s Next-Generation Combat Helmet

WASHINGTON – On Feb. 12, 2024, PEO Soldier fielded the Next-Generation Integrated Head Protection System to approximately 2,000 Soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, marking the first-unit-equipped milestone in enhancing Soldier protection.

The NG-IHPS is the Army’s newest combat helmet, replacing the previously fielded Integrated Head Protection System, the Advanced Combat Helmet, and the Enhanced Combat Helmet. The combat-ready NG-IHPS consists of a retention system, suspension system, helmet cover and a night vision device bracket that is able to integrate a mandible protector, hearing protection, communications and heads-up displays like the Integrated Visual Augmentation System and the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular.

“This fielding marks significant progress for Soldier protective equipment as it equips Soldiers with protection against relevant battlefield threats, and the innovative helmet design is a purpose-built platform for integration now, and with future Soldier-enabling devices,” said Lt. Col. Ken Elgort, product manager for Soldier Protective Equipment.

The NG-IHPS, which will be fielded to the close-combat force, interfaces with the next generation of night vision devices, while the mandible protector mounts onto the front of the NG-IHPS for additional protection. The mandible protector is fielded to 6% of the force operating in a mounted configuration.

“The NG-IHPS provides increased ballistic and fragmentation protection while reducing the weight required to previously reach this protection level by 40%,” said Maj. Matthew Nulk, assistant program manager of the Head Protection Team. “This is world-leading rifle threat protection we’re providing to our Soldiers.”

According to Alex de Groot, lead engineer for the Head Protection Team, “The boltless retention system and night vision device bracket mount on without compromising the helmet’s structural integrity, thus increasing protection.”

PEO Soldier will equip the 2nd and 3rd Brigade Combat Teams, 82nd Airborne Division, this quarter and will complete fielding to all close-combat force units over the next three years.

Program Executive Office Soldier is responsible for the rapid prototyping, procurement and fielding of equipment for Soldiers. NG-IHPS is part of the Soldier Survivability portfolio, the largest portfolio within PEO Soldier. The NG-IHPS is one part of the Soldier Protection System, which also includes the Modular Scalable Vest, the Ballistic Combat Shirt, the Blast Pelvic Protector and the Vital Torso Protection hard armor plates.

By U.S. Army Public Affairs

The photo is an Army photo of an IHPS, but not from this fielding.

10 Responses to “PEO Soldier Equips First Unit with the Army’s Next-Generation Combat Helmet”

  1. Mehmaster says:

    Rf1 but uglier than sin. Curious design choices.

    • NTX says:

      When they say that it’s “able to integrate hearing protection, communications”, I really hope that means that they have plans to add in rail mounted, electronic headsets.

      If they mean “we think we’ve designed the cut to allow you to wear unit purchased headsets under it”, then that is incredibly weak for a supposed “full suite” of Soldier protection systems and enablers.

      • Yawnz says:

        Bold of you to think the Army would just average Joe with such expensive stuff.

        • Gear Guy says:

          And it is mighty bold of you to think that the Army doesn’t and it shows just how out of touch you are with reality and what equipment is actually being fielded by the services. It’s not like a lot of it hasn’t been highlighted on this very website. Read more, edge lord less so we will all stop laughing at you every time you comment.

      • Cuvie says:

        Gentex is making an Ops Core AMP adapter for the IHPS

        Also should be noted that the F90 Helmet which the IHPS is based off of did originally come with a ARC rail, but the Army didn’t want it. There’s also a high cut version that is readily available which is in use with Swedish, Czech, and Poilsh SOF units.

      • Comms_Live says:

        OTTO Eng is getting ready to launch an IHPS rail to accommodate their NoizeBarrier TAC headset as well.

    • Reg says:

      Well it is full cut, not high cut like the RF1.

      Same added coverage that poses issues for helmet mounted comms (though there is an adapter that rail mounts a headset, it’s just clunkier than keeping the ear fully exposed).

  2. Max0306 says:

    I think the Army missed the mark on this helmet, I appreciate the fact that Marine Corp Infantry has gone to the high cut, it’s been game changing multiple fronts.

    • oldpolsky0321 says:

      Hmmm…kicking doors vs TF mandress is one thing, but those were the salad days compared to the future, particularly given miserable and weak leadership that seems to be the norm in the West. For conventional forces maneuvering forward (against legions of little joystick-equipped turds working drones dropping all sorts of nasty munitions), and likely sitting in the D against a competent enemy on a regular basis, I’ll take some addt’l flanking pro for the head vs a tad cooler/lighter thank you. Leaving no bad pun unturned, the Army is actually using its head on this one. The Corps seems to be banking on an avant-garde concept with technologies that don’t yet exist and reliant on theoretical logistics and transport, not to mention manufacturing base. With (a lot of) luck and a strategically dithering enemy, they might pull it off but very risky nonetheless. When’s the last time you saw a US-made quadcopter/drone or lithium battery in the store/or anywhere?

  3. Seamus says:

    Instead of the argument of high cut vs full cut, why to just make he ear muff out of the same armor as the helmet?

    Bonus points if they add a bit of overlap so there will be no gap between the ear muff and the helmet

    You would have a high cut (nice and light) for most soldiers who just need a basic helmet and for the front line troops, more protection doubles as over the ear protection and triples as comms.

    Seems like the obvious answer. But nope… we got an ugly helmet instead. Seems like a missed opportunity.