AP NEWS

82nd Airborne testing Army’s new body armor, helmet with incredible ‘blunt impact protection’

March 6, 2019

U.S. troops will soon have a lighter load and better head protection if extensive testing by 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division goes well.

The Army has tasked the soldiers with putting the Modular Scalable Vest version II, Ballistic Pelvic Protection, and its Integrated Head Protection System through a training gauntlet this month.

Col. Stephen Thomas and Lt. Col. Ginger Whitehead told Army Times that IHP boasts “100 percent” more “blunt impact protection” than the Enhanced Combat Helmet, a stunning feat given that the latter saved a soldier who was hit with a 7.62mm round to the back of the head.

The key to the latest helmet’s protective abilities is the fact that it uses a boltless system, the newspaper reported.

Fewer holes for affixing the helmet’s head and chin strap four instead of five translates into increased protection.

The protective vest soldiers will test weighs 20 pounds, although plates they put in their carriers to stop bullets “are showing higher levels of protection at 20 percent less weight,” the newspaper reported.

Brig. Gen. Anthony Potts, Col. Stephen Thomas added that officials want an entire brigade combat team’s worth of the next-generation helmet and improved body armor fielded by late 2020 or early 2021, Army Times reported.