A ballistic helmet is a bulletproof helmet that protects the wearer’s head from gunfire and other fast-moving projectiles. Nothing is completely bulletproof or capable of shielding against each and every bullet but simply put, a ballistic helmet is resistant to bullets. For law enforcement personnel, military troops, and security forces, a ballistic helmet is one of the most important pieces of equipment for their safety.
Another type of bulletproof vest is the plate carrier, which is lighter and more comfortable than full-body armour vests. They can support either soft or hard armour plates, depending on the needed level of protection.
History Of Ballistic Helmets
Soldiers wore covers made of leather or cloth to shield their bodies from weapons in earlier days. The equipment developed over time. DuPont developed a new material called Aramid in the year 1960 which had many useful properties such as heat-resistance and durable fiber. It was sold under the name Kevlar and bulletproof became synonymous with it. The first helmet to exploit Kevlar was the PASGT (Personnel Armour System for Ground Troops). PASGT was replaced by MICH (Modular Integrated Communications Helmet) which was designed and developed by the US special operations command. The US army adopted MICH in the year 2002 and it was renamed the ACH (Advanced Battle Helmet).
Are Ballistic Helmets Worth The Expense?
As per the research of the National Library of Medicine, “the head involves only 9% of the body area exposed during combat but it received 20% of all the hits”. So, the answer is yes, ballistic helmets are worth the expense. In case of bomb explosions, it can protect a person’s head from getting crushed into pieces and the brain from getting severely damaged. The ACH is most effective against small arms fire and fragmentation. During a collision or accident, the ballistic helmet can also keep the head in place while it gets banged against the vehicle.
What Are The Features Of A Ballistic Helmet?
Some features of ballistic helmets are:
- Proper padding to suit the human head perfectly.
- Velcro attachments for user’s modularity.
- Moisture-absorbing material for reduction of bacterial growth.
- Reinforced protection and comfort.
- Retention devices on the back of the helmet: dial adjustment and 4-point chin strap.
Different Types Of Ballistic Helmets
There are three main types of ballistic helmets: FAST (Future Assault Shell Technology Helmet), MICH (Modular Integrated Communications Helmet), and PASGT (Personnel Armour System for Ground Troops). Each helmet has a different design and serves a different purpose.
- PASGT – popularly known as the Kevlar helmet is the oldest and most influential design available in the market today. The US military used it from 1983 to the mid-2000s, and it was one of the major components of the protective gear set which also included a vest. It is still used by the US Army Reserve and US Navy for sailors on warships. This helmet has an outer shell of multi-layer Kevlar, a lip over the brow, and a low cut over the ears. The helmet can be fitted with add-on accessories such as a riot control visor and a mounting assembly for night vision goggles.
- MICH – it is the next generation of PASGT. The Modular Integrated Communications Helmet was released in 2001 after many experiments aiming to design a ballistic helmet that was more comfortable and lighter yet as protective as PASGT. When MICH was adopted by the US army in 2002, it was renamed ACH (advanced Combat Helmet). The main goal of MICH creation was that the helmet could be mounted easily with accessories and wouldn’t shift forward over the eyes in certain positions. The sides were raised and the brow was eliminated to achieve these aims, which resulted in improved visibility and 8% less coverage. The rails along the sides allow the mounting of accessories without drilling into the Kevlar. Find a mich helmet online that offers an unparalleled level of comfort.
- FAST – the FAST (Future Assault Shell Technology Helmet) was unveiled by the Ops-core manufacturing company at the 2009 SHOT show. It was then issued to the US special operations forces in Afghanistan. Different variants of FAST are used by several special ops forces today. The trait that sets it apart from other ballistic helmets is that it has high-cut sides and leaves the ear exposed. The helmet has a curve that protects the occipital bone at the back of the head. The purpose of this design was for use in maritime operations. It is made of a composite of Carbon, woven aramid, and unidirectional polyethylene. This helmet is lighter than MICH.
Ballistic helmets are an important piece of gear for people who participate in tactical operations. An investment in the right helmet is an investment in your safety and health.