Monday, December 5, 2022

US-made helmets save life of Ukrainian pilots

Gentex’s HGU-56/P helmet system probably saved the life of Ukrainian Army Aviation pilots whose Mi-8 Hip helicopter crashed in March, according to the company post on social media.

“We received the following HGU-56/P ABH (Aircrew Ballistic Helmet) photos from Ukraine Army Aviation as its pilots wanted to express thanks and for us to see helmet condition that saved their life,” Gentex Corporation said on Instagram.

In a post, Gentex said the Ukrainian helicopter was shot down by a rocket in March; 2 of the crew survived and currently recovering in hospital post prisoners of war exchange.

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Ukrainian pilots speak enthusiastically about Gentex’s helmets, but note difficulties in purchasing them and delivering them to Ukraine due to US legal restrictions. They talk about the urgent need for such protective equipment for Ukrainian crews and ask for assistance in centralized and mass procurement of Gentex’s helmet systems.

The HGU-56/P is a ballistic helmet system designed for rotary wing aircrew. It uses modern materials to provide an unprecedented level of ballistic and impact protection, which meets the F1 Fragmentation Resistance Standard.

As noted by the company, in ABH (Aircrew Ballistic Helmet) configuration the helmet provides 110% more ballistic protection than the standard Gentex HGU-56/P Rotary Wing Aircrew Helmet System. Gentex says that this is accomplished without affecting the weight of the helmet shell or level of impact protection, ensuring maximum comfort and mission endurance are maintained. The HGU-56/P Rotary Wing ABH System also includes a new ballistically enhanced Maxillofacial Shield (MFS), which provides complete head protection.

The HGU-56/P ABH is compatible with existing helmet accessories of the standard Gentex HGU-56/P Rotary Wing Aircrew Helmet System.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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