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See also glans penis.

The thing that stops your brains falling out when you're shot in the head.

The First World War

First introduced in the British Army in the autumn of 1915, widespread issue did not occur until the spring of the following year - just in time for the wholesale slaughter on the Somme. The first type helmet was referred to as the Brodie (who designed it). The design was based on medieval headgear called the Kettle helm with emphasis on protecting the wearer from airburst shrapnel. Use of this type lid lasted until the end of WW2, though by 1944 the Mk.III, or '44 pattern helmet came in to use - though mainly by Canadians and assault troops in time for the Normandy landings.

The Second World War

Other specialist helmets were introduced for wartime use, such as Parachutist, Armoured Troops and Dispatch Rider's variants. After the war the Mk.IV Helmet became general issue. This was a slightly redesigned Mk.III but the general appearance remained the same. This helmet remained in use until the introduction of the Mk.6 Combat Helmet in the late 1980s.

Modern Helmets

The first modern non-steel helmet was the glass fibre Para Helmet introduced in the early 1980s. This lightweight helmet replaced to old steel parachutists' lid that had been used by airborne forces since inception in the mid-'40s.

The old steel armoured troop lid, similar to the airborne type helmet was also used by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines in lieu of the Mk.IV, as it was more suitable for wear in the close confines of a ship. It continued in use until replacement by the Mk.6.

There was also the short-lived Northern Ireland Combat Helmet that was manufactured from ballistic nylon with an airborne-style GS harness which was also utilised on the Para Helmet of the 1980s.

The Mk 6 Helmet

Between 1985 and 2009 The British Army used three types of helmet: The Mk.6 Combat Helmet, the Para Helmet and the new Mk.6a, which offered improved safety over the other two and was phased in as a UOR beginning around 2006 for operations. The PARA version was lighter than the others, much more comfortable and looked more ally.

The Mk 7 Helmet

The Mk 7 helmet was introduced in June 2009 as an UOR (urgent operational requirement) and adopted for use in Afghanistan.. The new helmet offered the same ballistic protection as the Mk6A helmet, but its new shape allows a soldier to lie flat and shoot straight, without the rear rim digging into their body armour and tipping the front rim over their eyes.

The Mk 7 helmet is lighter than its predecessor – 1 kg instead of 1.5 kg for the Mark 6 helmet – and has better chin strapping for stability. It is produced in a new colour - tan, unlike the Mk 6A in black and Mk 6 in olive. The ballistic protection is measured with V50 and for the Mk 7 it is about 650 m/s.

The Mk 7 helmet was replaced beginning 2015 by the Revision Military Batlskin Cobra Plus helmet as part of the Virtus program.

The Cobra/ Virtus/ Mk 8 Helmet

According to Revision, the Batlskin Cobra Plus system exceeds the ballistic and impact resistance standards set by the UK. Yet, the system remains lightweight – the lightest system ever made according to the company. Unlike the previous Mk7 and Mk6a helmets, the Virtus is made out of a thermoplastic rather than a kevlar material. This new material allows the helmet to protect against ballistic threat even as great as 7.62x51mm rounds at close range.

The system includes a helmet with suspension system, a ballistic mandible guard (face shield) and a clear visor that locks into place to provide full head protection.

The French Foreign Legion now uses the SPECTRA helmet which has replaced most of the Modèle 1978 lids.


Health and Safety Nazis often tell people that the Kevlar Para Helmet does not offer as much ballistic protection as the Mk.6. This is because they are jealous, tending to be the sort of people who wear their Mk.6 with a FFD as padding, so it sits on top of their head like a teat on the engorged bell-end of a condom clad penis. Like as not, they are the same, pitiful, SASC choppers who appear in the small arms pamphlets with their helmet covers on sideways.

The subject of much discussion, on this thread: Forums

The origin of this debate lies in the fact that in the early '80s, parachute troops were issued a lightweight fibreglass 'jump' helmet with no ballistic protection. The current issue Para Helmet is made by NP Aerospace - the same people who make the Mk.6, and now has comparable ballistic protection. Pamphlet 21 specifically makes no distinction between para and Mk.6 helmets when stipulating body armour required for LFTT.