Airborne soldiers from the US Army have evaluated the newly developed integrated head protection system (IHPS) during operational testing.
The testing involved a live parachute jump from a C-17 high-performance aircraft at 1,250ft above ground level over Fort Bragg’s Sicily Drop Zone.
It was conducted to validate the performance of the new IHPS during static line airborne operations.
Soldiers from the 57th Sapper Company, 27th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade, worked with the US Army Operational Test Command’s Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate (ABNSOTD) to test the new armour.
ABNSOTD director colonel Brad Mock said: “Operational testing is about soldiers. It is about making sure that the systems developed are effective in a soldier’s hands and suitable for the environments in which soldiers train and fight.”
The IHPS, which is one of the six components of the soldier protection system, is capable of providing a larger area of protection for the head and face.
Weighing less than the current army combat helmet, IHPS includes a system to measure head trauma.
The new head protection system is also equipped with accessories, such as mandibles, visors, night vision goggle attachment devices, rails and a modular ballistic applique.
During the test, soldiers also participated in new equipment training, which covered familiarisation, fitting, and suspended harnesses.
The army intends to field 7,000 units of IHPS to separate brigades during the fiscal year 2018 before moving to full-rate production.