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2005-09-05 Home Front: Tech
Oddity: The New US Army Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH)
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Posted by Anonymoose 2005-09-05 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [427 views since 2007-05-07]  Top

#1 

Yeah, looks very open on the ears but if it can withstand more damage, all good!
Posted by Slugum Javing2724 2005-09-05 02:58||   2005-09-05 02:58|| Front Page Top

#2 Speaking as an old grunt : "If it looks stupid or ugly, but works, you have misunderstood the intent."
Helmets are not a fashion accessory, they are there to protect your head and keep your brains in said head.
Posted by Shieldwolf 2005-09-05 03:02||   2005-09-05 03:02|| Front Page Top

#3 The Marines are keeping the old design, just upgrading the Kevlar. The old design was done by engineers, this one is done by opinion. The main grip being the back of the 'Fritz' and body armor would jam when the soldiers were in a prone position. I suspect there are going to be more casualties with wounds in the more exposed portions compared to the old design. Looks more like the old WWII British Para helmet this time around.
Posted by Glolurong Chailet2972 2005-09-05 04:28||   2005-09-05 04:28|| Front Page Top

#4 I think its the Mitch helmet. But speaking from experience when you dive into the prone and try to fire a weapon, the old helmet hits your body armor and pushes the front of the old helmet over your eyes. The same happens in fields of view. You can not look up with the old helmet on. You have to arch your back and twist. It's a pain. Engineers are great guys, by evidence of it being lighter, but the old helmet was not designed to be worn with the new body armor system. It really does not matter if the troops like it or not, troops will wear what they are told to wear, most agree that the new helmet is better to wear when you need to see and move in a fight.
Posted by 49 pan 2005-09-05 09:48||   2005-09-05 09:48|| Front Page Top

#5 Since we have some good opinions, here, if you could add what you wanted, what would you add and why?

Personally, I would go for a Humvee-style philosophy of design. That is, have all sorts of augumentations as options to the helmet. Worry less about the "every soldier an infantryman" concept, and give them helmets optimized both for protection and for efficiency based on their job and location.

That is, an infantryman's helmet is optimized for closing with and defeating the enemy while protecting himself.

A field officer's helmet should be fully integrated with his unit high tech, more concerned with directing the flow of battle than fighting himself.

Eschelon soldiers concerned with IEDs, bomb attacks and snipers need defensive, not offensive helmets. This could include mideval-style neck protectors, clear or extra-strong face plates, flash protection, extra hearing and vision protection, etc.

Rear area soldiers need your basic "run-away" or "hit-the-dirt" helmet. That is, minimal fragmentary protection for un- or lightly-armed personnel. Such a helmet would be very light, and may even have soft, removeable, anti-frag "drapes" descending from its sides and back, along with a clear face shield that can be pulled down from the front of the helmet.

Observation personnel could have plug-on sensors for any number of purposes. Telescopes, digital cameras, IR, night vision, sound amplifying, all on the *outside* of the helmet. He sees them on his face shield *virtually* inside the helmet. If they shoot the sensor, they hit his helmet, not his face.

The big one as far as I'm concerned is a fully integrated protective mask/helmet combo. Absolutely different from today, it is the only possible solution to future NBC warfare. A primary function of the helmet will be both to store the filters, and to have a fuel cell motor to *overpressure* the helmet/mask. Air is drawn in through the filters, then possibly even heated or cooled as it surrounds the head for breathing. Exhaled and extra air descend into the suit. They helmet/mask would be put on first, then the suit donned over it.

This boosts the MOPP-4 viability from a few hours to a day or two. Narrow-face chin air leakage is far less important, as are pinhole punctures or small tears.

Filter replacement is also easier. Just turn off the overpressure motor, open the helmet and replace filters, then turn the motor back on. If the filters were located on the sides, a soldier might even be able to do it himself, without removing his protection.
Posted by Anonymoose 2005-09-05 14:50||   2005-09-05 14:50|| Front Page Top

#6 Anonymoose, how familiar are you with the Future Combat System setup and how it is going to be rolled out?

A lot of what you recommend here is at cross-purposes to that ... just wondering if that's intentional or inadvertent.
Posted by lotp 2005-09-05 14:59||   2005-09-05 14:59|| Front Page Top

#7 Take off that camo cover and I'll bet it's made out of the same styrafoam as my bike helmet.
Posted by Mrs. Davis 2005-09-05 15:13||   2005-09-05 15:13|| Front Page Top

#8 Of course Mrs. D, thats ballistic styeafoam.

Betcha kan't kook K-rats in a ACH though.

/I lika the good "Fritz" cracker myself.
Posted by Red Dog 2005-09-05 18:58||   2005-09-05 18:58|| Front Page Top

#9 Some observations from a grunt

replaced the PASGT (or Kraut)(*) helmet
We did call it that.

Tests show it will withstand a hit from a 9mm round at close range, a test the PASGT would fail.
The old Kevlar wasn't designed to withstand, just redirect. I know of an engineer from the first gulf war that took an AK-47 round at close range (10-15 feet) and lived. The bullet was redirected to just graze his skull, instead of going through it. More protection is good, but hopefully they kept that old feature design.

The ACH is smaller and 3.5 lbs lighter then the PASGT...
GOOD, that old model was freaken' heavy! A friend dropped his on my foot and broke my right little toe! The old model was hot as hell too, especially in the desert. I am glad this new one has some ventilation for the skull.

...increased ambient hearing capabilities.
Another good. We would never wear a Kevlar on patrol since it really interfered with sound. You couldn't pinpoint noises and track them without sight effectively.


All in all, sounds good. My only question is, why the hell did they make it look so dorky? We are the badest military in the world. Why make us look like a bunch of bicycle dads?
Posted by mmurray821 2005-09-05 20:10||   2005-09-05 20:10|| Front Page Top

#10 lotp: FCS is all well and good, but designing for the future will need to be based on the philosophy for design in the future. FCS is pre-Iraq war in its philosophy. Still clinging to the advantages of uniformity and the technologies of the time.

My point was that, in the future, instead of worrying about uniformity, helmets be designed, have a philosophy of design, for adaptability.

If they need an FCS-type helmet, use the FCS attachments. If they don't, use other modifications, to fit the soldiers' needs, much like in a Humvee. Granted there are limitations to adaptability, which you get around by having different basic styles of helmet.

One type is a combat helmet. Another is a combat support. A third is a rear area ("REMF", if you like), helmet. There may be a specialized NBC helmet, made available only for continuing operations in an NBC environment, not for a casual gas attack, say.

Each of these, and many more, wear different hats, so why shouldn't they wear different helmets?

FCS was created for the war we thought we would fight, for advantages we wanted in such a fight. But the dizzying pace of future war technologies is such that no technology, or even a philosophy of military tech, should gather dust before it is re-examined.
Posted by Anonymoose 2005-09-05 22:16||   2005-09-05 22:16|| Front Page Top

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