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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

US Army Seeking Secondary ACH Protection Options

The long term effects brain injury from head trauma in combat has been a top issue with a lot of comparisons being made to repetitive impacts received by boxers for football players. The Enhanced  Combat Helmet is due for release by this fall which has a similar appearance, but is slightly thicker and substantially lighter. More importantly it will be a more effective form of head protection. 

The Army may have other plans in the works for existing ACH head protection that has already been purchased with a secondary shell for the issued head protection. PEO Soldier has released a request for information on possibilities for a Blunt Impact External Shell for the ACH that will provide an added layer of defense against head and brain injury. 

Advanced Combat Helmet
Photo: US Army
The basic guidelines are a complementary lightweight layer that can be added to the helmet as needed based on necessity in the field and provides added protection against repeat blunt impact. The shell should also be able to blend in with the soldier's existing uniform in providing the same concealment.  

Obviously there are plenty of manufacturers out producing helmet covers with matching camouflage, but the true question is if these can be produced with the added protection sought. It should be interesting to see if there are other protective shells already available or potentially in the works for the requested protection option. This also begs the question as to what they have in the works for the new Enhanced Combat Helmet. 

Given its similarities to the Advanced Combat Helmet, is there an assumption that any potential secondary shell could easily be modified for use with the new ECH or perhaps there are completely different possibilities being considered for optimizing current helmets in hand rather than making a full scale move to the new helmet. Clearly time will tell on what final product will reveal itself. View the full Request for Information at: FBO.gov

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