|Manufacturer:||Racal Acoustics Limited|
RA315 INTEGRATED HELMET SYSTEM (IMS)
• Universal, one size helmet
• Reconfigurable for mission profiling
• Full ballistic protection
• Optional noise reduction technologies
• Future enhancement capability
As a result of the rapid evolutionary changes in battlefield technology, the adoption of technologically advanced equipment is of paramount importance if combat effectiveness and military superiority are to be maintained. If the threat or the operational scenario changes, however, or if new technologies become available, equipment which was designed for a specific role may no longer be as effective or even appropriate to the new situation. Recognizing the importance of this problem, Racal has developed a new Integrated Helmet System, which is reconfigurable, to follow changes in operational role and can be upgraded in the event of technological changes.
Integrated Helmet System
The Integrated Helmet System is based on a soft ventilated helmet with a compatible range of ballistic protective shells, communications headsets, noise reduction systems and speech intelligibility enhancements specifically designed to suit the needs of AFV crews.
The system comprises three major elements; the soft ventilated helmet, the ballistic protective shell and the communications headset, each of which is easily separable to facilitate reconfiguration and maintenance Both the headset and the helmet can be worn as separate items, if required.
Ventilated Soft Helmet
The Soft Helmet is a universal one size helmet which is easily adjustable to suit any user It is constructed from a soft composite material which combines comfort with maximum bump protection and demonstrates excellent ventilation properties for hot environments The soft helmet is an excellent bump protector but additional protection can be provided by adding a clip on hard outer shell offering ballistic protection.
The Ballistic Shell is a one size protective hard top which can be attached to the inner soft helmet to provide a much greater degree of protection Three protection levels are available commencing with the basic Fragmentation Shell which is intended to provide protection against low velocity effects such as shrapnel or fragmentation at up to 130m/s The Medium Velocity Ballistic Shell made of Aramid material provides a significantly higher level of protection achieving a V50 figure of 430 m/s.
To combat the threat of new high velocity weapons the High Velocity Ballistic Shell can be employed which provides protection up to 670m/s The helmet shells are fully interchangeable and allow an upgrade path in the event that the operational threat level changes.
Two headset styles are available one for dedicated vehicle crews the other being an optional low profile version for mechanised infantry The headsets provide full communications facilities and are designed for optimum noise attenuation properties The provision of an adjustable sprung neckband and an overhead strap also allows the headset to be worn separate from the helmet
With the high levels of noise inherent in AFVs Racal offers a wide range of optional noise reduction technologies which the customer can select if appropriate for his particular operational scenario and which are fully integrated within the headset.
In some operational situations total noise exclusion can be a disadvantage particularly if the user has to maintain an awareness of his surroundings An acoustic valve provides the option to receive external airborne sounds when required The Racal mechanical acoustic valve provides this facility in addition to blast protection which attenuates sudden explosive sounds.
Where power is available the new Racal electronic valve or Talk Through Circuit (TTC) provides a similar function electronically Sounds or speech in the vicinity of the user are detected by microphones mounted on the outside of each earshell and are then regenerated bmaurally through both headset earphones to retain directionality The output is electronically controlled by a compression circuit
to ensure that the level does not exceed the recognised health and safety limit of 85 dB(A).
Voice Operated Switch (VOS)
An optional voice switching module is available which is activated only when the crewman speaks This provides a hands free communications facility and minimises crew noise exposure during live microphone operations The switching threshold is self tracking and constantly adjusts to suit the noise environment The module can be integrated inside the headset and features a low noise inhibit facility which bypasses the system if the background noise is below a safe level
If required the VOS can be supplied to attenuate the microphone signal instead of switching off completely in order to provide the crew with greater local awareness.
A range of noise cancelling boom microphones is available including a new electret type which has excellent speech clarity and improved low frequency noise protection.