Gore Defense

Archive for the ‘Helmets’ Category

Extending Head Protection Technology Beyond The Frontline

Thursday, October 21st, 2021

From frontline operators under fire to law enforcement officers on the street, comfortable, reliable and rugged personal protective equipment (PPE) is vital to get the mission accomplished. Operators must be confident that what they’re wearing equips them to perform effectively and safely against a continuously increasing range of threats, every time, without failure.

The dangers posed by aggressors constantly change. Recent images from around the world have not only shown troops facing higher energy ballistic threats in military engagements in the Middle East and Southwest Asia but also ferocious assaults on Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams. Police in Portland were frequently confronted by hails of rocks and concrete during disturbances in the summer of 2020 and a fire extinguisher was notoriously hurled at a group of officers during the US Capitol riots in January this year.

In response to these and other unpredictable military and law enforcement scenarios in-theatre, impact protection specialist D3O has applied its world-class material and product engineering capabilities to develop a new addition to its head protection range to better protect both military and law enforcement operators.

As this article goes on to explain, D3O’s latest innovation meets and exceeds blunt impact performance requirements at multiple impact velocities.

As a result, D3O offers head protection for the frontline warfighter who may be wearing a helmet for 15 hours uninterrupted as well as for the law enforcement officer facing a different type of threat on a short-duration mission.

Responding to evolving threats

An integral component of an operator’s PPE kit is the helmet, which offers critical protection against threats including ballistic impact from arms fire and explosive devices, blunt impact from falls or contact with solid objects, and blast overpressure from explosive devices.

The helmet’s core components include an external hard shell, an internal liner and suspension system to achieve a customized fit and minimize acceleration and deceleration of the head while providing comfort, and a retention device such as a chin strap to secure the system to the wearer’s head.

These components work together to reduce the risk of injury by preventing penetration from a ballistic impact and absorbing energy from a blunt impact or blast event – any of which can lead to traumatic brain injury (TBI), where the brain’s normal function is disturbed.

Furthermore, the geometry and mass of additional accessories such as mandible protection, communications equipment or a ballistic visor cannot compromise the level of blunt impact protection or the overall balanced effectiveness of the helmet’s functioning parts. 

All operators are aware of the adage, ‘Ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain’. The average U.S. military warfighter carries at least 60 lbs of gear, with that figure often doubling for an extended patrol. Every component and accessory increases the total weight, which is particularly felt when added to the helmet. Operators must execute their mission without being distracted by their comfort level or fatigue. As a result, helmet system designers constantly face the challenge of increasing performance while ideally reducing weight.

The U.S. Army’s Integrated Helmet Protection System (IHPS) is one of three subsystems of the cutting-edge Soldier Protection System (SPS) – a platform designed to defeat current threats at a reduced weight while supporting the operator’s agility, maneuverability and survivability. SPS provides multiple levels of protection that can be tailored to a broad range of missions. The IHPS can also be configured and optimized to a specific task.

To help counter ever more unconventional projectiles, PPE specifications also evolve to provide enhanced levels of protection for operators. The IHPS product specification has a new requirement for a helmet that can perform at an impact velocity of 14 feet per second (fps) while not compromising performance at the traditional impact velocity of 10 fps, based on the Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) standard (AR/PD 10-02). Protection at an impact velocity of 14 fps delivers a higher performance capability against the increasing energy exposure posed by many modern-day threats.

Applying cross-sector expertise

In 2015, D3O created the D3O® TRUST Stealth™ helmet pad system by leveraging its expertise from developing market-leading impact protection across the industrial, sports, motorcycle, electronics and defense markets. This system exceeds the required level of protection at 10 fps by 45 percent and maintains consistent performance on second impact. The seven-pad system fits most ground combat helmets and provides comfort during extended periods of wear.

TRUST Stealth™ was followed by TRUST Nimbus™, which delivers a 30 percent weight reduction and also exceeds the required level of protection at 10 fps by 50 percent in polyethylene (PE) shells and 39 percent in aramid shells. A seven- or nine-pad system that can be incorporated within most ground combat helmets, Nimbus™ offers state-of-the-art comfort, significantly easing the wearer burden.

D3O® TRUST Stratus™ is the latest innovation in D3O’s Defense head protection range. Testing shows that Stratus™ is the only commercially available system to exceed the impact performance requirements of the ACH standard simultaneously at 10 and 14 fps in both PE and aramid shells.

An integrated comfort liner in each pad, head-side fabrics offering antimicrobial protection and superior moisture-wicking properties, plus a ventilated moisture barrier to prevent pressure points at high altitude, also help to keep the operator’s focus on the task rather than their PPE.

TRUST Stratus™ meets SPS hook and loop adhesion requirements and can be integrated as an eight- or 10-pad system within most infantry combat helmets. This opens up a range of commercial possibilities for law enforcement and military tenders.

Optimizing for protection and comfort

For Oliver Sunnucks, D3O’s Senior Product Design Engineer, D3O® TRUST Stratus™ is “a natural evolution of the work we’ve been doing on the D3O® TRUST range over the last six or seven years. Throughout our development of the D3O Defense head protection range, we have continually fine-tuned the balance between applications, materials and standards.

“Ballistic performance is delivered primarily by the shell, whereas blunt impact performance comes from the synergy of the shell and the system inside. However, where the shells are specifically designed to meet a ballistic requirement, the internal pad systems are required to work effectively with a range of varying helmet shell designs. From a design engineering perspective, we must also consider the effect of geometric variables such as shell size and profile, material property variables such as temperature and strain rate (that is, the different impact speed requirements) and how the system response is changed through multiple impacts (due to damage).

“Our expertise is in understanding how these things play off against each other and knowing how to optimize the variables in order to deliver maximum protection and comfort at the lightest weight.”

Kevin Fleer, D3O’s Head of Product, explains that the requirement for impact resistance at a speed of 14 fps is “based on real-life impacts that modern-day operators encounter. It’s no longer a niche solution but a mass market one.

“Also, it doesn’t equate that a helmet system capable of passing a 14 fps standard will automatically pass at 10 fps. In almost all cases, the materials in a system tuned to 14 fps will be too rigid at the lower impact velocity.

“D3O® materials are extremely rate sensitive, meaning they react instantly to different velocities and energies. Therefore, it is possible to meet both the 10 and 14 fps standards using materials that remain soft enough for the 10 fps test and hard enough for the 14. This is only achievable with so much rate sensitivity from your chosen materials, a performance advantage that is unique to D3O®.”

The D3O Defense head protection range draws on the company’s world-class material and product engineering capabilities in order to create technology that serves those who need it most.

Furthermore, the ability to scale up US production capacity to handle the demands of the SPS IHPS program means the company is ideally positioned to serve both military and law enforcement needs for head protection.

By offering these solutions off the shelf, D3O is pushing the boundaries of head protection for a variety of users and providing a range of options for specifiers looking to increase protection for their teams.

by Bill VanMullekom, D3O

PREDATOR GHILLIE Helmet Cover – Beez Combat Systems

Thursday, October 21st, 2021

The Predator Ghillie™ Helmet Cover by Beez Combat Systems offers the operator the tip of the spear in evolution for tactical concealment by disrupting the outlines of the helmet to visually merge with their surroundings.

The Predator Ghillie™ Helmet Cover is designed to fit any size helmet including high cut, fast and mid cut helmets. The Predator Ghillie™ Helmet Cover is secured with the use of a shock cord allowing the operator a proper fit regardless of any size or model helmet. 

The Predator Ghillie™ Helmet Cover is easy to route. Simply route the bungee through the laser cut slits in order to achieve the desired preference of fit. Included with the Beez Combat Systems Predator Ghillie™ Helmet Cover are 8 Predator Dreads allowing the operator to increase the disruption of their helmet outline for critical concealment in non permissive environments. 

 Helmet Cover – www.beezcombatsystems.com/Predator-Ghillie

Brazilian Company InbraTerrestre Adopts Honeywell Technology for Military Helmets

Friday, October 15th, 2021

First strategic defense company in country to receive T&A level III-A ballistics certification 

MORRIS PLAINS, N.J., Oct. 13, 2021 — Honeywell today announced Brazil-based InbraTerrestre has adopted its Spectra Shield technology for lighter weight helmets for military and law enforcement. InbraTerrestre, one of the companies of the Inbra Group, will be the country’s first strategic defense company to receive T&A certification for level III-A ballistic helmets.

Designed with Honeywell Spectra Shield, the helmet represents an unprecedented development for Brazil’s armor industry and is a milestone for Latin America.

“By using Honeywell’s Spectra Shield, we can reduce weight by more than 30 percent in our new helmets and defeat small arm threats at lighter weight than current materials,” said Jose Antonio Silva Pinto, CEO and CFO, of Inbra Group. “We offer solutions for helmets, vests and bulletproof shields that offer various levels of protection and meet the U.S. National Institute of Justice (NIJ) standard.”

InbraTerrestre develops and manufactures helmets to meet ballistic tests as required by NIJ standard 0106.01, ballistic levels II and III-A, VPO ballistic resistance of NIJ standard 0108.01 and high-speed fragments, in addition to threats at lower levels of protection. All products are tested and certified by the Brazilian Army at Marambaia proving ground under Portaria Nº 189-EME to ensure that products controlled by the Army are manufactured in compliance with technical standards targeting quality, safety, durability and performance.

“Honeywell’s advanced technologies are a result of the investment in research & development to continuously develop ballistic materials and bring these cutting-edge solutions to the law enforcement institutions across the region,” said Tim Swinger, business director for armor at Honeywell Life Sciences and Protection Industries. “Our innovations have consistently provided customers like Inbra with high-performing, high-quality reliable materials resulting in low-weight solutions for helmet, vest, and plate manufacturers to design next-generation protective gear for soldiers and service members.”

Honeywell’s Advanced Dynamic Deflection Technology is used in hard armor products to reduce deformation and structural damage by up to 40% without any decrease in ballistic stopping power. Even with reduced weight, the product series provides full coverage and protection from small fragments and bullets.

Pound for pound, Spectra fiber is 15 times stronger than steel, yet light enough to float. It has up to 60% greater strength than alternate aramid fiber. Spectra fiber is made from UHMWPE using a patented gel-spinning process.

Honeywell maintains an active Spectra fiber and ballistic materials research program focused on continuous improvement and development of high-performance materials. For more information about Spectra fiber, visit www.honeywell-spectra.com

Introducing the Thyrm VariArc M-LOK

Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

Helmet Light Mount with 360? Rotational Indexing

Sunnyvale, CA – Thyrm® is excited to announce that the VariArc® Helmet Mount is now available for helmets with M-LOK® rails. Featuring positive indexing at forward, umbrella and admin angles, the VariArc mount directs light right where you need it with a quick twist.

The VariArc helmet mount features locking teeth biased to the forward position, keeping your light aligned for the most critical uses; but with a firm twist, the VariArc mount unlocks and rotates through 8 additional lower-force index points for administrative tasks and diffused lighting options. Its small footprint and low-profile keep things tidy and the 1913 picatinny rail allows for maximum compatibility with visible and IR lights. Its reinforced polymer construction is built to remain fully functional through extreme temperatures, dirt, dust, sand, water, drops on concrete, and other rough handling. 

Features include:

Positively locks in the forward index position

Picatinny accessory rail with 3 slots and 4 ridges

Retention holes on both ends for dummy wiring critical gear

Durable, reinforced polymer construction with steel hardware

Compatible with M-LOK slots

Available in black and flat dark earth colorways

As with all Thyrm products, VariArc mounts are designed and made in the USA.

To learn more or purchase, head to www.thyrm.com or your favorite Thyrm dealer. Government orders: [email protected]

K9 Helm

Sunday, October 10th, 2021

K9 Helm M2 will see it’s European debut next week at Milipol Paris.

A New Approach to Protective Communications for the IHPS Helmet

Thursday, October 7th, 2021

Avon Protection Ceradyne in conjunction with 3M™ PELTOR™ are pleased to offer a new integrated headset adapter solution for use with the U.S. DOD Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS). 

The Avon Protection Ceradyne IHPS headset adapters allow for select 3M™ PELTOR™ ComTac™ headsets to be seamlessly mounted to the rails of the IHPS helmet. This new solution integrates exceptional ballistic performance with hearing protection and communications, while providing improved comfort for the user.

Commenting on the development, Vasilios Brachos, VP Development and Technology, at Avon Protection Ceradyne said: “Integration with other soldier systems is always front of mind when we design and engineer new products for our customers. This new accessory for the IHPS is an example of our commitment to providing users with the most comfortable and flexible integration solutions.”

Designed for the Army to improve operational flexibility, Avon Protection Ceradyne’s rail mounted headset adapters offer advanced ergonomics and comfort when connected to a compatible 3M PELTOR headset. This new solution provides the user with the ability to adjust their headset position without removing their protective helmet or compromising the radio transmission monitoring during a mission.

Brian Myers, Global Business VP at 3M, commented: “We are excited to work with Avon Protection Ceradyne to deliver an innovative integrated personal protection solution and provide our soldiers with a tactical communication and hearing protection system that is comfortable and built to last. 

Kent Moeller, President, at Avon Protection Ceradyne, continues: “At Avon Protection Ceradyne we are committed to equipping the modern warfighter with the most advanced personal protection.  We continuously work alongside industry partners and our customers to ensure we design, develop and deliver world leading product solutions.”

The IHPS headset adapters will be on display at AUSA 2021, October 11-13, 2021 at Avon Protection Ceradyne Booth #619 and 3M PELTOR Booth #7048.  For more information email Avon Protection Ceradyne: [email protected] or 3M PELTOR: [email protected] .

New TBI Research Supports Revised Test Standard for Military Combat Helmets

Thursday, September 30th, 2021

Team Wendy Engineers Among Research Team Published in Military Medicine

CLEVELAND, OH (Sept. 30, 2021) – Engineers from Cleveland-based Team Wendy®, a leading global provider of exceptional head protection systems, led experiments for a study published earlier this month in Military Medicine that indicates a need to revise combat helmet specifications.

The paper, titled “Head Impact Modeling to Support a Rotational Combat Helmet Drop Test,” provides a scientific basis for combat helmet test requirements to include rotational impact tests in order to account for cellular injury thresholds. The additional data would improve the test’s conception of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by severe head impacts.

Currently, military combat helmets are evaluated by linear acceleration thresholds, which originated from skull fracture prediction. The study examined predicted brain cell damage in both linear and rotational impact scenarios to assess how much brain tissue stretches, and how quickly, upon collision.

“Real life impacts are rarely limited to translational motion, where the head decelerates in a straight line,” said Ron Szalkowski, one of the paper’s authors and Team Wendy’s director of product development and research collaboration. “Continuing to evaluate linear impact is important, but without also analyzing how the helmet and head respond to rotations, we could be missing a key piece of the puzzle in our ability to accurately predict TBI.”

In its exploration of cellular injury levels, the team found that linear tests do not fully convey the tissue stresses and strains indicated in rotational tests. Using a detailed human head model from Sandia National Laboratories, they discovered over four times the brain strains resulting from a modified rotational test versus the strains produced in the standard linear test.

The findings were published in the military medical journal with credit to researchers from Team Wendy, Sandia National Laboratories, Robert Morris University, Brown University and University of Wisconsin-Madison. Team Wendy Mechanical Engineer Sushant Malave is bylined alongside Szalkowski.

The study was part of phase one of the PANTHER program, a research partnership funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) with the goal of quantifying cellular injury levels for TBI.

“This paper reflects a stepping stone for further understanding the relationship between brain strains and head protection,” Szalkowski said. “Eventually we want to develop equipment that better protects the brain in parallel with understanding actual brain cell damage baselines.”

He noted that there is currently no firm cellular injury threshold established for TBI cause or prediction.

The PANTHER program continues to investigate what brain cells can withstand and further refine testing models to improve protection standards. ONR has approved continued funding for PANTHER through 2024.

www.teamwendy.com

DSEi 21 – Ulbrichts Rifle Series Helmets

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Austria’s Ulbrichts has introduced a new helmet in their Rifle series which can defeat 7.62 x 39 steel core rounds.

This helmet is rated VPAM-6 HVN2009. It is available with night vision shroud and rails as seen here are can be had stripped down. The dial at the rear is to adjust the helmet for a proper fit (48-62). Not only does the helmet stop the projectile but their liner is instrumental in dealing with the kinetic energy of the 7.62 x 39 threat reducing it from 2000 joules to far below 25 joules, preventing lethal brain trauma.