US special operations forces are getting a brand new combat helmet

The U.S. military's most elite war fighters are getting some new headgear.

The U.S. military's most elite war fighters are getting some new headgear.

U.S. Special Operations Command awarded a $95 million, five-year contract to the Gentex Corporation to furnish American commandos with both ballistic and non-ballistic versions of its Ops-Core helmet.

Gentex is responsible for a variety of specializedcombat helmetsused by the U.S. armed forces, including the Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) that's on deck to replace the the Army's Enhanced Combat Helmet in inventories.

But unlike the IHPS, the Ops-Core helmet comes in a “high cut” design intended to accommodate mission-specific accessories like night vision goggles and specialized communications equipment and modular add-ons like a visor and motorcycle-style mandible.

SOCOM's been on the hunt for a new helmet as part of its Special Operations Forces Personal Equipment Advanced Requirements (SPEAR) Family of Tactical Headborne Systems (FTHS) program since 2017, but the new award award doesn't specify exactly how many helmets the command plans on scooping up.

Military Times notes, however, that the Ops-Core retails for around $1,400 a pop online, which means SOCOM could just grab around 100 Ops-Core helmets to satisfy the contract minimum of $150,000.

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Jared Keller
Jared Keller

is the executive editor of Task & Purpose. His writing has appeared in Aeon, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the New Republic, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian, and The Washington Post, among other publications. Contact the author here.

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