3M is showing off its new Ultra Light Weight Ballistic Bump Helmet at AUSA 2014. Made by Ceradyne Inc., a 3M company, the ULW-BBH shell weighs 30 percent less than the closest alternative and is designed to help reduce fatigue while improving mobility, 3M officials maintain.
The helmet uses the latest ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene and is manufactured using a proprietary, seamless, ballistic molding technology. It provides blunt-impact protection equivalent to the Advanced Combat Helmet for operations in the air and water, and during ground transportation. It also meets a common ballistic standard against the NIJ-IIIA level of threat and “17 Grain FSP V50.”
“We put our engineering and advanced materials expertise to work to combine the capabilities of bump and ballistic helmets into one multiuse platform,” Cheryl Ingstad, 3M business manager, Advanced Ceramics Platform – Defense, said in an Oct. 13 release at the start of the 2014 Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition.
“The ULW-BBH provides exceptional protection, optimum mobility and reduces the equipment burden for special [operations] forces personnel.”
The helmet also meets the expectations of operators for comfort, fit and compatibility with a multitude of devices, 3M officials maintain. The retention system's boltless design helps minimize overall weight, removes a potential design weakness, and eliminates the possibility of bolts acting as secondary projectiles.
The ULW-BBH also uses a flexible rail system that is compatible with standard operational accessories, including night-vision goggles, hearing and vision protection equipment, lights and communications devices.