Beginning next year, U.S. Army vehicle crewmen will begin receiving improved helmets that should provide better protection and comfort. Last month, the U.S. Army awarded ArmorSource LLC., a Hebron, Ohio-based ballistic helmet manufacturer, a $6 million contract to supply 14,000 Advanced Combat Vehicle Crewman Helmets (ACVC-H).
ArmorSource will provide the U.S. Army with a modernized version of the crewman helmet based on its next generation ballistic solutions that utilize some of the most advanced Honeywell ballistic composite materials available. The first deliveries of the new ACVC GEN II model are expected to be delivered to the military in early 2023.
"It is a huge honor to be selected by the U.S. Army to supply our troops with such an innovative product," says Brad Grunden, president of ArmorSource.
"We are extremely excited for all of the men and women who will soon be equipped with the most advanced combat vehicle crewman helmet technology available in the industry," added Gunden. "ArmorSource's ACVC GEN II helmet exceeds the ballistic and fragmentation performance of the legacy ACVC but at a much lighter weight. We believe this product sets a new standard of safety and comfort for these users."
Improved Brain Bucket for Tankers
The Advanced Combat Vehicle Crewman's Helmet (ACVCH) program began in the late 2000s as a development effort to improve upon the Combat Vehicle Crewman Helmet (CVC-H) – the primary head protection system for the mounted soldier – that had first been introduced in the 1970s.
The CVC-H consisted of a hard ballistic helmet shell, integral communication system, and inner helmet assembly. It was found that the CVC-H Shell provided only limited ballistic protection when compared against infantry-based platforms such as the Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH).
The ACVC-H was developed to provide improved ballistic protection over the previous CVC-H system but at a lighter weight without affecting form, fit, and function.
The United States Marine Corps had initiated a similar program in January 1992, and extensive concept evaluations were conducted on early prototypes developed and built by the USA Natick RD&E Center. The evaluations took place at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Ft. Rucker, the National Training Center, and Ft. Knox. The evaluation results were highly favorable.
The Army's current Advanced Combat Vehicle Crewman Helmet (ACVC-H) mission is to provide integrated communication and ballistic protection to the mounted Soldier’s head, temples, ears, and neck without degrading vision, stability, and hearing.
As with the previous versions, it consists of an outer shell, inner liner, and communications system. However, the ACVC-H provides 9mm protection and fragmentation protection to mounted personnel along with communication and noise attenuation capabilities. The ACVC-H shell attaches to a fabric mesh inner liner and communication system by snap fasteners and hook and-pile tape. Fastener mounts on the front of the helmet attach the shell to the chin strap.
The ACVC GEN II helmet will continue to improve upon the design, and it exceeds the ballistic and fragmentation performance of the past versions. It provides ballistic protection in accordance with the AR/PD 12-03 Standard with a 30 percent weight reduction.
The ACVC GEN II was one of ArmorSource's next generation helmet solutions formally introduced to the public at last month's Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show). In addition to the ACVC GEN II, ArmorSource will also present its ACH GEN II 'AS-501-G2', a next generation military helmet, and the 'AIRE LE', a next generation law enforcement helmet.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.
Image: U.S. Army Flickr.