Posted : Wednesday Sep 29, 2010
Hopes that a helmet capable of stopping rifle rounds would be deployed to Afghanistan by summer 2011 seem less plausible after Marine officials nixed at least one that was proven to stop 7.62mm ammunition in testing.
During testing, the round did not penetrate the helmet, but a resulting dent was so severe “that it would still, in all probability, be fatal,” said Commandant Gen. James Conway, who has been on a quest to give Marines a rifle-resistant helmet since he became the Corps’ top officer four years ago.
While officials at Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, Va., believe that timeline is still viable, they caution that further testing will ultimately dictate a realistic fielding plan.
Developmental testing of the Enhanced Combat Helmet began in September 2009 with five designs from four vendors. All the designs failed to provide enough protection from bullets.