ASU to deliver prototype helmets to US Air Force
Following its selection as one of three finalists of the AFWERX Fixed Wing Helmet Challenge in November 2018, Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU) has announced its delivery of four prototype helmets to the US Air Force’s Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada
ASU’s AFWERX helmet prototypes were designed to address improved comfort, safety and ease of integration of future technologies. The Light Aviation Stable Ergonomic Relaxed (LASER)-Fit helmet concept is a collaborative effort with Paraclete Aviation Life Support. And the solution aims to improve the Air Force’s fixed-wing helmet by reducing neck load and neck injury and providing improved comfort and stability, all the while integrating seamlessly with current and future technologies and attachments.
“Our collaboration with ASU on this project enabled our companies to produce an innovative solution that we believe will become the standard on the next generation of helmets,” said Paraclete Aviation Life Support Owner and President Scott Hedges. “Between our expertise in aviation helmet manufacturing and ASU’s technical and programme knowledge, we were able to produce the prototypes we feel will not only meet, but exceed, AFWERX expectations. As a retired military aviator myself, I know the importance of this project. This helmet can keep our men and women safer, more comfortable, and ready to take on their next mission.”
ASU Chief Technology Officer Dr Joe Estera explained that the helmets include the latest in impact, thermal, head-borne weight and stability management, and that the design integrates a balance of comfort and protection. “We feel we were able to address the requirements using newer materials for manufacturing that were not available in older generation helmets,” he added. “We also designed the prototypes to easily add new technologies that we anticipate will be integrated into the helmets of the future. This forward-thinking design mentality not only allowed us to address our current needs, but also future enhancements.”
Tactical Acquisitions Corps reviewed the helmets and the final decision on the final design is expected to be made in August 2019. A production contract of up to US$20 million is expected to be awarded to the winner in the fiscal year 2021.
“To be selected as a finalist by the AFWERX team is a tremendous honour,” said ASU Director of Business Development Chad St. Francis. “Our team has worked on this project diligently for months to help solve the needs presented by the Air Force for the next generation of helmets.”