US Recalls Defective Army Combat Helmets

5 May 2009 (Last Updated May 5th, 2009 18:30)

The US Army has issued a recall of 34,218 Advanced Combat Helmets (ACH) after chinstrap components failed ballistic tests. The helmets where never issued to forces and where recalled after the manufacturer Gentex told the Army it believed the four screws which attach the chinstrap and r

The US Army has issued a recall of 34,218 Advanced Combat Helmets (ACH) after chinstrap components failed ballistic tests.

The helmets where never issued to forces and where recalled after the manufacturer Gentex told the Army it believed the four screws which attach the chinstrap and related parts to the helmet did not conform to contract specifications.

Gentex alleged a subcontractor had falsified certificates of compliance related to the type of steel screws it furnished.

Product manager for Soldier Survivability, Lt Col Robert Myles said that although the helmet shells were safe and effective, Gentex had found it necessary to advise a recall.

"Gentex made the mistake and corrected themselves by letting us know that their subcontractor had replaced the hardware with unauthorised hardware," said Myles.

The screws failed the ballistics tests at temperatures of minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit and at temperatures above 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The screw heads are tested by firing rounds into them at these extreme temperatures.

Gentex is one of four companies that manufacture the ACH. Of about 1.2 million ACHs that have been delivered to the Army, 297,000 have been produced by Gentex.

The recall affects 15,380 Army helmets, 12,000 Air Force helmets and another 6,838 helmets, which were never issued by the Defense Logistics Agency.

Once an Army Criminal Investigation Division has completed its investigation, Gentex will absorb the costs and resources to change out the screws.

By Daniel Garrun.