• C4ISR2020 Vanguard

Canadian soldiers to get lighter combat helmets

Being light-headed is probably not the ideal condition to be in in the battlefield.

However, many soldiers lugging around weapons and other gear in the field will likely appreciate a little less load off their shoulders. Canadian military personnel will soon get some help in this area with the impending delivery of new combat helmets that have 30 per cent less density than similar headgear.

DSM Dyneema, a manufacturer of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibre, in collaboration with Morgan Advanced Materials has developed a light armoured soldier architecture (LASA) helmet that weighs in at just over 1 kg for high-cut models and 1.2 kg for full-cut models. Typical combat helmets weigh around 1.4 kg to 1.9 kg.

The composite and defence business of Morgan reported that it has recently won the tender for the Canadian Military Helmet program with its LASA ultra-lightweight series which incorporates DSM Dyneema’s UHMWPE technology.

The Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology provides ballistic protection but also reduces the areal density of the helmet shell by 30 per cent and cuts down its weight.

Weight reduction is critical when you take into account the array of technologies soldiers have to carry these days. A lighter helmet offsets the burden of accessories such as night vision goggles, full face visor, mandible guards, communication systems and camera.

The LASA helmet series is comprised of two styles: the full-cut LASA AC914 helmet for combat operations and the high-cut LASA AC915 assault helmet for special operations, which allows greater situational awareness.

Because weight reduction is critical in view of the growing array of technologies that soldiers must carry, a lighter helmet offsets the burden of attachments such as night vision goggles, full face visors, mandible guards, communication systems and cameras. It also increases comfort and freedom of movement

The LASA helmet series is comprised of two styles: the full-cut LASA AC914 helmet for combat operations and the high-cut LASA AC915 assault helmet for special operations.

Both helmets are compatible with a range of suspension systems. Lightweight rails and a night vision goggle shroud allow integration with in-service capability.

Author: Nestor Arellano

Nestor Arellano is editor of Vanguard Magazine. Nestor is a seasoned journalist who has written extensively on defence and military industry issues as well as technology and business developments. He is also associate editor of Vanguard's sister publication, IT in Canada.

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