ACH Advanced Combat Helmet

The ACH (Advanced Combat Helmet) is the Modular Integrated Communications Helmet (MICH) without the communications components. MICH is a modular helmet system that provides ballistic, fragmentation, aural and impact protection, while being night vision, communications and Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) equipment compatible. The MICH is intended to replace standard government and commercial helmets, communications and aural protection items used by Special Forces. MICH was under development for four years before it was fielded to the Special Operations Command in January 2001.

Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH)
Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH).

Today in WW II: 20 Oct 1941 In reprisals for losses to Yugoslavian partisians, Germans troops kill thousands of civilians in Kragujevac and Kraljevo [20-21 Oct].  More 
20 Oct 1944 Philippines invaded by Allies at Leyte, joined by Filipino guerillas.
20 Oct 1944 Gen. Douglas MacArthur Returns to Leyte, Philippine Islands.
20 Oct 1944 Belgrade, Yugoslavia liberated by Russian Red Army aided by Yugoslav Partisans.
Visit the World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

Advanced Combat Helment (ACH)

10th Mountain Div Soldier shows his ACH Advanced Combat Helmet that saved him from a 9mm bullet, 5 July 2007
10th Mountain Div Soldier shows his ACH Advanced Combat Helmet that saved him from a 9mm bullet, 5 July 2007.

Just as the Kevlar PASGT helmet replaced the World War II M-1 Steel Helmet, in 2004 the Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) replaced the PASGT (or Kraut) helmet in the U.S. armed services.

The Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) was adopted by the Army in 2002 and is one of the fourteen Rapid Fielding Initiative items developed in 2004 for deploying soldiers on their way to Iraq or Afghanistan. The ACH is made of a new type of Kevlar, that provides improved ballistic and impact protection. Tests show it will withstand a hit from a 9mm round at close range, a test the PASGT would fail (photo, right). The ACH as a platform is compatible with the current night vision devices, communications packages, and NBC defense (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical) equipment, although some special mounting kits are needed to achieve compatibility.

The ACH is smaller and 3.5 lbs lighter then the PASGT model and is cushioned on the inside, which sits more comfortably on a soldiers head. It also has a different suspension system inside that allows a soldier to fight more effectively when wearing body armor.

The ACH allows maximum sensory and situational awareness for the operator. This includes an unobstructed field of view and increased ambient hearing capabilities. It is compatible with standard and SOF-unique clothing and individual equipment.

The ACH's retention/suspension system provides unsurpassed balance, stability, and comfort. This system provides for proper size, fit, and ventilation. The ACH's pad suspension system provides superior impact protection throughout all operational scenarios, including static-line airborne operations.

The ACH provides ballistic protection within this spectrum of environments:

  • -40 oF to +130 oF
  • salt water or fresh water
  • petroleums, oils, and lubricants (POL)

With the former PASGT helmet, soldiers have complained that when they are lying on their stomachs firing rifles, their body armor rides up, tipping their helmet over their eyes. The ACH was designed to address that problem and the Army plans to issue the helmet to all 840,000 soldiers in the force by 2007.

The Marine Corps will not adopt the ACH. They will replace their PASGT helmets with a new model in the same Kraut shape but with the improved Kevlar material.

The ACH has been criticized for its smaller size, raising fears that it will not provide enough protection for the back and sides of the head.

The ACH is covered by TM 10-8470-204-10 "Technical Manual, Operators Manual for Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH)" dated 31 May 2004. The NSN is 8470-01-476-2524.

Books About U.S. Army Helmets

For more comprehensive information on this subject, the following books are recommended:

Find More Information on the Internet

There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.

For good results, try entering this: advanced combat helmet. Then click the Search button.

The Military Helmet Collectors Club is a group forum specifically for discussion of military helmets from WW I to present, all nations. Click here for their sign up page.

privacy policy