It looks like it has been ripped straight from the comic books, but this new military helmet, designed to give special tactics units and special operations more protection is very much real and packed with a lot of nifty features!
Dubbed Ronin II, the helmet has been created by Japan’s Devtac, alongside the Trust International Group, and is said to offer more protection and greater flexibility than current headgear.
The market for combat headgear, especially maxillofacial shields (helmets which encompass the full face and jaw area) has skyrocketed in recent years. Special operators have worn them for years as a way of increasing cranial protection, and the ability to attach ballistic face shields to existing helmets (like those worn by helicopter crews) have pretty much become the norm.
Yet, despite all this, it seems most special operations soldiers still aren’t happy with their helmet choices. To satisfy the demand, elaborate helmet systems that integrate wearable technologies seem to be the focus for many companies now.
Helmet-mounted displays and augmented reality glasses, along with protection to lessen the chances of the wearer experiencing a traumatic brain injury from an IED are top of the agenda for many market-leading organisations, but trying to satisfy this while stopping the helmet from being too bulky is proving difficult. Oh, and if the helmet could be customised to satisfy the needs of the individual, that would be an added bonus…
Enter Devtac. The relatively tiny company may be known in airsoft circles for building facemasks in a similar style to the one above, but they are now working on finding a niche, offering new headgear that includes a high degree of ballistic protection (level 3A). This not only offers protection to the head, but also the face and eyes, and comes in a relatively streamlined package. The helmet has been tested against .44 magnum cartridges (see the video below) and looks to take them pretty well…
Devtac have created a product which can be easily altered as you go. Some of the customisable pieces can be attached with neodymium magnets instead of screws. For instance, the wearer can put on individual solid cheek shields for high-risk operations – such as clearing buildings – and then easily remove them in a lower threat environment.
A single piece wrap-around armoured mandible shield can also be attached for the best possible ballistic coverage, while rails and slots allow for helmet-mounted cameras, displays and night vision optics to be attached depending on the mission. The eye pieces also contain a small electronic fan system integrated into the chassis which ensures they remain defogged at all times!
The system reportedly features a peripheral field of view of 160 degrees, which is pretty impressive, and it is fairly lightweight given the reported protection it provides. Whether the system will live up to the hype is yet to be seen, but many special tactics units have reportedly ordered samples. Oh, and they even offer a non-ballistic version, just in case you were looking for some Deathstroke airsoft gear type of set up! You can see what the helmet look like, along with some ballistic testing, in the video below:
Photo courtesy of Devtac/YouTube