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UK military helmet design and test methods


The aim of this paper was to provide the military medical community with an expert summary of military helmets used by HM Armed Forces. The design of military helmets and test methods used to determine the fragmentation and non-ballistic impact protection are discussed. The helmets considered are Parachutist, Combat Vehicle Crewman, Mk6, Mk6A, Mk7 and VIRTUS. The helmets considered provide different levels of fragmentation and non-ballistic impact protection dictated by the materials available at the time of the helmet design and the end-user requirement. The UK Ministry of Defence defines the area of coverage of military helmets by considering external anatomical features to provide protection to the brain and the majority of the brainstem. Established test methods exist to assess the performance of the helmet with respect to the threats; however, these test methods do not typically consider anatomical vulnerability.

  • fragmentation
  • non-ballistic impact
  • protection

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