Ok Philippine Marines testing 3 types of helmets...
TEST AND EVALUATION REPORT on Marine Corps Combat Helmets
Prepared by: The Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans & Programs, MC-5, 08 April 2001
This Test and Evaluation is intended to serve as a basis in the formulation of SOP's prior to the acceptance of military helmets for use by Marine personnel in the conduct of combat operations.
To determine the level of protection from shrapnel and fragmentation of the three helmets in use in the Marine Corps through a comparative evaluation of the US M-1 Steel Pot Helmet, US PAS-GT (Personal Armor System - Ground Troops) Helmet and the Taiwan Manufactured Helmet.
III. General Knowledge:
Warriors have utilized metallic helmets and body armor since the ancient times of Greece to the days of the medieval knights for personal protection against arrows and blows from a sword. It was the invention of firearms and the rifled bore in the 16th Century that their use in combat became less due to the tremendous penetrating effects of the bullet. By the 19th Century they were no longer the norm in battles and were relegated to ceremonial functions in the world's military organizations. At the outset of the First World War in the 20th Century the major powers involved namely: France, Germany and Great Britain started the war without any type of metallic helmet. The initial battle engagements in this conflict showed considerable casualties (30%) on infantry from head wounds caused by shrapnel and fragmentation brought about by the introduction of the air burst artillery shell. Faced with this dilemma, the military in its desire to lessen casualties reintroduced the helmet in modern warfare. Modern military helmets are still intended for protection against shrapnel and fragmentation and not against a rifle round. Though it is possible to manufacture a helmet of such - present technology is still not feasible to create one of practical use due to the considerable weight it adds to the infantryman.
Penetration of armor by kinetic energy projectiles as high velocity rifle bullets, shrapnel and fragmentation are based on the parameters of its composition, shape, caliber, mass, angle of incidence, and impact velocity. V-50 is a military measurement of ballistic protection at which 50% of projectiles are stopped, and 50% penetrate. For helmets, V-50 generally refers to FRAGMENTATION, not bullets. However, internationally established test for the conduct of evaluating the effects of fragmentation and shrapnel on helmets and body armor are done with firing pistol rounds on the personal armor basically because there is no practical way of controlling the mass and velocity of fragmentation. Pistol rounds (ex. 1120 fps for a 115 grain 9mm bullet fired from a 4.5inch barrel) travel at lower speeds as compared to rifle rounds (ex. 3.200 fps for a 55 grain 5.56mm round fired from a 20 inch barrel, M-16A1 Rifle) and hence utilized to simulate shrapnel. The level of protection for body armor are classified as to its capability to defeat various ballistic threats and these are known as "Threat Levels" - Standards based on the United States Department of Justice Manuals classifies these from Threat Levels I to IV (Annex "C"). Most military helmet manufacturers use this method to classify the level of protection of their product.
MILITARY HELMETS IN USE IN THE PHILIPPINE Marine CORPS
The US M-1 Pot Helmet has been the standard combat helmet of the Philippine Marine Corps since 1950 to the present and a total 5000 units are still in use. It consists of two pieces made of the outer 1.2 mm steel hull and a detachable internal liner made of asbestos or plastic. Adopted in early part of the Second World War it remained with the US Armed Services until after the Vietnam Conflict when it was finally replaced by the PASGT (Kevlar) Helmet.
The US PAS-GT(Personal Armor System - Ground Troops) Helmet made of synthetic material - Kevlar was introduced in the US Military in the late 70's. It is now due for replacement with the Kevlar II that features an improved ballistic protection. The Philippine Marine Corps received a total of 1,400 units of the first generation since 1996 and is presently utilized by the three Marine Battalions (1st, 2nd, and 7th MBn). Present retail prices in the United States ranges from $190-$240 each depending on size. (Annex "B")
Taiwan made Helmet manufactured by Wah Lee Industrial Corporation. Design is a copy to the US PAS-GT Helmet and rated by the manufacturer to have ballistic protection of level IIIA. A total of 500 units were delivered to the Corps in 1999 at a cost of $150.00 each (Annex "A"). Issuance to tactical units was held in abeyance on claims of sub standard quality
IV. Equipment/Weapon/Ammo utilized:
UZI Submachine Gun, 9mm with 10.2 inch barrel
Chronograph to measure bullet velocity.
9mm ammunition, FMJ 130 grain bullet rated at 1440 fps (reloaded)
9mm ammunition, FMJ 123 grain bullet factory loaded, made by Hirtenberger of Austria rated at 1260 fps.
Ammunition Reloader, Dillon 550B with corresponding accessories as bullet puller, weighing scale and vernier caliper.
V. Test Procedure:
DTG: 061530H April 2001
Venue: 50 Meter Combat Range, MFRC, HPMC, Fort Bonifacio, Makati City
Participants: MC-5 Personnel, scout snipers, 4MBDE (Reserve) personnel, and MBOC students.
The 130-grain ammunition used for the test was chronographed at a distance of 10 feet to determine the impact velocity of the bullet. Ammunition was reloaded with appropriate weight in its propellant through trial and error until the desired velocity was attained at 1440 fps.
Having attained the desired velocity, the three helmets were engaged by the submachine gun one a time also at a distance of ten feet. This was done three times on the front and both sides of each helmet.
The rears of each helmet were then engaged using the factory-loaded ammunition rated by the chronograph at 1260 fps with a 123-grain 9mm bullet.
Visual inspection on penetration and blunt trauma was conducted after each event.
130 grain FMJ bullet with impact velocity of 1440 fps:
HELMET 1st round, frontal 2nd round, right side 3rd round, left side
US Steel M-1 Helmet Total penetration on both sides Penetration on one side and partial penetration on second side Total penetration on both sides
US PAS-GT Helmet No penetration No penetration No penetration
Taiwan Helmet One side penetration No penetration No penetration
123 grain FMJ bullet, factory load made by Hirtenberger of Austria fired with an impact velocity of 1260 fps : HELMET Rear
US Steel Helmet Total penetration on both sides
US PAS-GT Helmet No penetration
Taiwan Helmet No penetration
The US PAS-GT Helmet with arrows depicting frontal and side hits. No penetration was made in all the four hits. The bullets lay embedded in the shell of the helmet creating a half an inch blunt trauma.
The M-1 Pot Steel Helmet was engaged with its internal liner in place. Three hits made total penetration on both sides while one hit made a complete penetration on the first layer and partial penetration on the second side.
Taiwan made Helmet showing the only penetration of the four engagements done. The bullet after penetrating the first level lacked sufficient energy for a second penetration. All other three hits did not penetrate but left the bullet embedded into the shell of the helmet creating a half an inch blunt trauma.
a. The test validates the level of protection of the US PAS-GT Helmet as slightly better than the Taiwan made Helmet but both are clearly superior to our present standard M-1 Pot Helmet.
b. The Taiwan Helmet surpassed the manufacturers specifications of threat level IIIA (Annex A and C) i.e., intended to stop a 9mm 124 grain bullet traveling at 1,400 fps. The ammunition that was used to fire three rounds was a 130 grain bullet with a velocity of 1440 fps which is above the standard but it was still able to stop the two projectiles.
c. The test data concludes that the Taiwan Helmet will meet the US Military Specs (MIL STD-662E) of V.50 2000 fps and capable of stopping 50% of fragmentation and shrapnel and thus fit for combat use for the Philippine Marine Corps.
a. Immediate issuance of the 500 pcs Taiwan helmets to replace the US M-1 Pot Helmet of the battalion undergoing retraining and reequipping.
b. That a Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) be formulated and integrated into the procurement process of combat helmets to undergo the same test and evaluation prior to acceptance.
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