New technology in configurable headset delivers 3D Hear-Through & advanced hearing protection
Gentex Corporation, a global leader in personal protection and situational awareness solutions for defence forces, emergency responders and industrial personnel, announced today that its Ops-Core FAST helmet system was chosen by US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to fulfill their contract for Special Operations Forces Personal Equipment Advanced Requirements (SPEAR) Family of Tactical Headborne Systems (FTHS) — Ballistic and Non-Ballistic Helmets. Furthermore, USSOCOM selected the company’s Ops-Core Adaptive Mission Platform (AMP) Communication Headset as part of the Communication Accessory Suite Land (CASL) programme.
The AMP headset features 3D Hear-Through Technology, which restores and enhances the operator’s “natural hearing” of the outside environment for improved situational awareness in high noise environments, while also providing robust hearing protection with a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 22 decibels.
Gentex Corporation has supplied helmets and accessories driven by user input from special operations forces for USSOCOM since the introduction of the Para Master High Altitude Low Opening (PM HALO) helmet in 2005 and the acquisition of Ops-Core Inc. in 2011. As the incumbent in the highly competitive bid process, Gentex received the award through full and open competition. The company utilised the latest design and technological innovations of its Ops-Core FAST SF helmet to deliver a high performing FTHS system that features improved comfort, increased stability, reduced personal signature, greater system integration and a significant weight reduction over currently fielded Ops-Core FAST helmets.
“We’re honored to have been chosen again to deliver the next generation of helmet systems for SOCOM Operators,” Tom Short, Vice President Ground Systems, Gentex Corporation, explained. “Working directly with current operators to understand their needs, plus continued investments in cutting-edge technologies has enabled us to deliver the most advanced, innovative solutions to USSOCOM and other global defense, emergency response, and security forces.”
The new SPEAR FTHS helmet system comes in ballistic and non-ballistic versions, each compatible with all current USSOCOM headborne accessories. Separate from FTHS, new modular Ops-Core accessories include a night vision goggle (NVG) compatible Step-In Visor, a range of mandibles (including ballistic, non-ballistic, and force-on-force), and a scalable two-piece ballistic applique for the non-ballistic helmet, which provides the same level of ballistic protection as the FTHS ballistic helmet.
“Listening to end users and responding to their evolving needs has fueled Ops-Core’s heritage of innovation, which is evident again in the configurable AMP Headset,” Peter Harbeck, SOF Business Development Manager, Gentex Corporation, continued. “Our business development and product management team, comprised mainly of former and current end users, are dedicated to upholding the mission of Ops-Core—getting elite forces the products they need to keep them safe and enhance their mission effectiveness.”
Additional features of the Ops-Core AMP Communication Headset include optional wire-free, battery-free, Near Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI) Earplugs, which increase the systems NRR to 34dB, while maintaining clear-communication audio and ambient hear through.
“We’re proud to continue to support the military in combating the issues of operating in high noise environments with our latest communications and hearing protection technology,” Mr Short, concluded. “Based on decades of experience with military communications and hearing protection, Gentex also provides the Active Noise Reduction (ANR) headset for the F-35 programme.”
The commercially available ballistic version of the helmet system, the Ops-Core FAST SF Super High Cut Helmet System, and the Ops-Core AMP Communication Headset will be on display in the company’s booth at SOF Select in the Operator Pavilion during SOFIC 2019, May 20 – 23 in Tampa, Florida.