US-based protective military equipment producer Revision Military has been contracted to produce lighter combat helmets for the US Army.
The five-year Advanced Combat Helmet Generation II contract is valued at around $98m.
Under the contract, Revision Military will produce a new helmet that weighs an average of 22% less than the one currently in use with the US troops.
A programme executive office (PEO) soldier at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, said that collaboration with industry, academia and government research laboratories enabled the helmet's weight to be reduced without compromising its integrity.
The helmet is made out of a high-molecular-weight polyethylene material that is lighter than Kevlar and capable of stopping 9mm handgun rounds and various shell fragments.
US Army soldier protective equipment product manager lieutenant colonel Kathy M. Brown said: "The partnership between the army and industry is critical.
"With a renewed focus on research and development, our goal is a revolutionary leap in technology for personal protective equipment in the future."
The helmet weight reduction will help soldiers reduce mission fatigue and enhance their situational awareness, according to PEO soldier officials.
Said to increase soldier effectiveness and overall survivability, the lighter helmet will also be available to other military services through Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support.
According to the army, its new integrated head, neck and face protection, called the 'Integrated Head Protection System', will include an enhanced helmet, a visor, a mandible that protects the lower jaw, and a 'ballistic applique' that can be attached to the base helmet.
The complete ensemble is expected to be fielded in 2020.
Image: The new helmet is made from ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene, a lighter material than Kevlar, but reportedly just as strong. Photo: courtesy of Ron Lee, PEO soldier.