US Military Taking Delivery of Advanced Combat Helmets
The U.S. Army Robert Morris Acquisition Center in Natick, MA has just paid 3 delivery orders for the Advanced Combat Helmet worth a total of $63.2 million, as part of $270.7 million in firm-fixed-price contracts for the First Article Test Lot of Advanced Combat Helmets and Spare Parts Kits. Work is expected to be completed by the end of August 2010. There were an unknown number of bids solicited via the World Wide Web on Jan. 13, 2005, and seven bids were received.
The Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) is one of the 14 Rapid Fielding Initiative items developed in 2004 for deploying soldiers on their way to Iraq or Afghanistan. The ACH is made of a new type of Kevlar to provide improved ballistic and impact protection. Tests show it will withstand a hit from a 9mm round at close range, a test the previous helmets would fail. Some have even stopped IED fragments.
The ACH is smaller and 3.5 lbs lighter then the PASGT model (known colloquially as the “Fritz helmet”) and is cushioned on the inside, which sits more comfortably on a soldier’s head. The ACH is also designed to allow an unobstructed field of view and increased ambient hearing capabilities for the wearer. It also has a different suspension system inside that allows a soldier to fight more effectively when wearing body armor. The trade-off is that it covers a smaller area, and seems to require more frequent adjusting.
The ACH is compatible with the current night vision devices, communications packages, and NBC defense (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical) equipment, although some special mounting kits are needed to achieve compatibility.
Specialty Defense Systems Inc. in Dunmore, PA received a delivery order amount of $9 million as part of a $70.3 million firm-fixed-price contract (W911QY-05-D-0001). Work will be performed in Dunmore, PA.
Mine Safety Appliances Co. in Newport, VT received a delivery order amount of $27.9 million as part of a $69.9 million firm-fixed-price contract (W911QY-05-D-0002). Work will be performed in Newport, VT (60%) and Murrysville, PA (40%).
Gentex Corp. in Carbondale, PA received a delivery order amount of $26.3 million as part of a $67.5 million firm-fixed-price contract (W911QY-05-D-0003). Work will be performed in Carbondale, PA.