Tactical Tailor

Posts Tagged ‘Ceradyne’

3M Subsidiary Wins Contracts for Two US Army Soldier Protection Programs

Friday, November 4th, 2016

This is major news. The Integrated Head Protection System component of PEO Soldier’s next generation Personal Protective Equipment program called Soldier Protection System, has been in source selection quite awhile. Gentex and Revision also competed for this program. Congratulations to 3M Ceradyne!

Company will deliver next-generation lightweight helmets and body armor inserts for the Soldier Protection System

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Nov. 1, 2016 – The U.S. Army has selected Ceradyne, Inc., a 3M company, as the awardee for two low-rate initial production (LRIP) contracts for next-generation helmet systems and hard body armor inserts as part of the Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) and Vital Torso Protection (VTP) – Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts (ESAPI) components of the Soldier Protection System (SPS).

The Army designed the IHPS to give soldiers a lighter-weight ballistic helmet system that also provides passive hearing protection and increased blunt-impact performance. This helmet system includes numerous accessories, including a mandible, visor, night vision goggle attachment device, rails and modular ballistic applique. The contract awarded to Ceradyne is valued at over $7 million for the delivery of more than 5,300 IHPS helmet systems. Production is expected to start in 2017.

The VTP will equip soldiers with lighter-weight body armor inserts. The $36 million contract is for the production of more than 30,000 ESAPI, with production also expected to start in 2017. This VTP award is an addition to a previous $34 million award, for a total of $70 million on the VTP LRIP contract.

“We are honored to be the awardee of these prestigious contracts,” said Cheryl Ingstad, business manager, Advanced Ceramics Platform – Defense, 3M. “The SPS program represents the highest level of lightweight technology to date. Our focus from the onset has been to meet the Army’s stringent specifications for the SPS, and that will continue as we move into initial production. As a leading science company, 3M has deep expertise in advanced lightweight materials, which, combined with our proven production history, differentiates our defense offerings.”

The SPS will replace the Army’s current personal protective equipment (PPE) system. It is designed to defeat current threats while providing an overall weight reduction for soldiers compared to existing PPE. Both the IHPS and VTP began as research and development programs with multiple contenders.

Ceradyne has delivered more than 120,000 enhanced combat helmets (ECH) to the U.S. Army and Marine Corps since 2014. The ECH offers the highest protection level of any helmet in the U.S. Armed Forces inventory, even protecting against certain small arms threats. Ceradyne has also delivered more than 2 million hard body armor inserts to the U.S. Armed Forces to date.

For more information about soldier protection solutions provided by 3M, visit www.3M.com/Defense.

SHOT Show – 3M / Ceradyne

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Back during AUSA we told you about 3M Ceradyne’s new Ballistic Bump Helmet. At SHOT Show we got to take a glimpse of their 3 helmet system.


Specifically, they are offering a Ballistic Bump Helmet for those who will use their helmet for bump protection but require basic ballistic protection. The aerial density 1.1 psf. There is also a Tactical Ballistic Helmet that offers ACH level protection at 1.65 psf and a Extreme Ballistic Helmet that offers Rifle threat level protection at 2.1 psf aerial density.


It’s a high cut helmet with a proprietary rail system and Wilcox shroud. The rail easily integrates another 3M product, the Peltor Comtac headset. The suspension can be configured based on customer requirements.


Look for more info soon.


AUSA – 3M/Ceradyne

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Late last year 3M purchased armor producer Ceradyne. At this year’s AUSA Annual Meeting & Expo Ceradyne displayed their wares in the 3M booth. This new helmet, the 3M “Defender” Ultra Light Weight Ballistic Bump Helmet caught my eye but I was not allowed to photograph it. However, they did hand me a brochure. It leverages the technology they developed for the USMC’s Enhanced Combat Helmet program. I though I’d share the brochure with you. Hopefully, we’ll be able to share more at SHOT Show.


Click on image to view .pdf

AUSA – Ceradyne MOHAWK

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

We recently published an article on the latest version of the MOdular HArd Wired Kitted (MOHAWK) helmet from Ceradyne and comms partner Threat4. It’s a boltless design manufactured using their advanced Seamless Ballistic technology developed for the Enhanced Combat Helmet and integrates a modular data and power bus bar system. Essentially, this is a powered helmet with multiple mounting points on the helmet’s shell.


You will notice numerous pieces from Wilcox Industries on these helmets.








Prototype MOHAWK Helmet Pics

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Last week we mentioned that the latest version of Ceradyne’s MOdular HArd Wired Kitted (MOHAWK) Boltless Combat Helmet. But, at last year’s AUSA, Ceradyne along with Wilcox Industries, gave everyone a sneak of the future of combat helmets. These photos of the MOHAWK technology demonstrator were taken during a recent SSD visit to Wilcox Industries. As you can see, the first version was a standard ACH cut. You can also make out an attachment point at the top of the helmet.



AUSA – Ceradyne, Inc and Threat4 Inc to Introduce MOHAWK Combat Helmet

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

During last year’s AUSA, Ceradyne introduced a demonstrator of their MOHAWK technology. Now, they’ve refined the concept and in conjunction with communications producer Threat4, are unveiling this new version at this year’s AUSA.

The new “MOdular HArd Wired Kitted (MOHAWK) Boltless Combat Helmet” (Patent Pending) was developed by Ceradyne Diaphorm with the tactical in-ear radio communication headset developed by Threat4 Inc. This headset also offers hearing protection. The actual helmet features Ceradyne’s advanced Seamless Ballistic technology developed for the Enhanced Combat Helmet and integrates a modular data and power bus bar system. Essentially, this is a powered helmet with multiple mounting points on the helmet’s shell.

Marc King, President of Ceradyne Armor Systems and Patrick Armstrong, CEO of Threat4 both commented: “The integration of a headset communication system with hearing protection to the MOHAWK helmet provides a weight and logistics savings to the warefighter by eliminating the traditional headset’s power source and connecting to the power rail. The addition of comms and hearing protection to the helmet completes the warefighter`s Headborne equipment requirements and simultaneously addresses hearing protection.

The Threat4 tactical headset is a variant of Threat4’s traditional x-62000 series headset but modified to include brackets to mount it on either side of the MOHAWK and to draw power from the bus bar system. Other accessories that are mountable to the MOHAWK include IFF (identification friend-or-foe) transponder, NVG (night vision goggle) with integrated camera and LED flashlight, all powered from the rear battery pack. Last year these were Wilcox Ind products and based on the diagram, look to still be.

Now, if we can just get this program and the powered weapon rail to include common interface standards we might be on to something.

New ECH Relies on Dyneema Material

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Ceradyne was recently awarded a contract for their Enhanced Combat Helmet for use by the US Army and Marine Corps. One of the key ingredients to the success of their design was DSM’s Dyneema HB80 unidirectional (UD) composite. HB80 happens to be the only material that passed stringent ECH testing and is currently used in vehicle armor applications.

In a press release, Dr. James Zheng, chief scientist Soldier Protective and Individual Equipment, PEO Soldier said, “The ECH program represents a major advance in helmet technology that can deliver enhanced superior protection for our troops. Our close collaboration with leading industry partners such as Ceradyne and DSM Dyneema enabled us to utilize their valuable technological expertise and support, resulting in the new ECH helmet.”


Ceradyne Awarded LRIP for ECH

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Ceradyne, makers of the Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH) has received the first (~$3 million) of possibly two low rate initial production orders. Ceradyne expects full rate production to commence during second quarter of calendar year 2012 with totals to exceed $170 million. It’s good to see this program moving forward after it was plagued with curing issues after showing initial success. According to Ceradyne and the Marine Corps, slight changes in the manufacturing process to accommodate the transition of tech development to production had to be dealt with to ensure consistent performance.

Called the Ceradyne Diaphorm Ballistic Helmet, the winning ECH design is twice the price of current Army and Marine Corps helmets, but provides up to 70% improvement in ballistic protection. In addition to delays, the program has received criticism over its arbitrary protection level (an undisclosed .30 threat) since there has been no move to dissipate the energy of such a round. Additionally, the size, weight and shape of the Army’s ACH was chosen for the ECH. Rather than decreasing weight and maintaining current ballistic protection to make troops more agile and to help offset the added weight of applique sensors and lights, the choice was made to maintain the current burden on the wearers neck and increase ballistic protection. Instead of telling industry that they wanted to defeat a threat, the Marine Corps wrote a requirement that boxed everyone into a narrow set of solutions.

On the other hand, both Soldiers and Marines will be receiving a new, more protective helmet. What’s more, the legacy Army’s ACH and USMC LWH both rely on Aramid fabric (Kevlar) while the ECH uses an advanced thermoplastic (PE) product. Reliance on Aramids for ballistic armor such as the IOTV and IMTV result in heavier armor systems. Hopefully, this paradigm shift in headborne systems will open up new materials options for body armor.