A combat helmet or battle helmet is a type of helmet, a piece of personal armor designed specifically to protect the head during combat.


Helmets are among the oldest forms of personal protective equipment and are known to have been worn by the Akkadians/Sumerians in the 23rd century BC, Mycenaean Greeks since the 17th century BC,[1][2] the Assyrians around 900 BC, ancient Greeks and Romans, throughout the Middle Ages, and up to the end of the 17th century by many combatants.[3] Their materials and construction became more advanced as weapons became more and more powerful. Initially constructed from leather and brass, and then bronze and iron during the Bronze and Iron Ages, they soon came to be made entirely from forged steel in many societies after about 950 AD. At that time, they were purely military equipment, protecting the head from cutting blows with swords, flying arrows, and low-velocity musketry.

Military use of helmets declined after 1670, and rifled firearms ended their use by foot soldiers after 1700[3] but the Napoleonic era saw ornate cavalry helmets reintroduced for cuirassiers and dragoons in some armies which continued to be used by French forces during World War I as late as 1915.[4]

World War I and its increased use of artillery renewed the need for steel helmets, with the French Adrian helmet and the British Brodie helmet being the first modern steel helmets used on the battlefield,[5][6] soon followed by the adoption of similar steel helmets, such as the Stahlhelm[7][8] by the other warring nations. Such helmets offered protection for the head from shrapnel and fragments.

Today's militaries often use high quality helmets made of ballistic materials such as Kevlar and Twaron,[9] which offer improved protection. Some helmets also have good non-ballistic protective qualities, against threats such as concussive shock waves from explosions.[10][11]

Many of today’s combat helmets have been adapted for modern warfare requirements and upgraded with STANAG rails to act as a platform for mounting cameras, video cameras and VAS Shrouds for the mounting of night vision goggles (NVG) and monocular night vision devices (NVD).

Beginning in the early 20th century, combat helmets have often been equipped with helmet covers to offer greater camouflage. There have been two main types of covers—mesh nets were earlier widely used, but most modern combat helmets use camouflage cloth covers instead.

By the late 20th century, starting in the 1970s and 1980s, new materials such as Kevlar and Twaron began replacing steel as the primary material for combat helmets, in an effort to improve weight, ballistics protection, and protection against head injuries caused by blasts. This practice still continues into the 21st century, with further advancement and refinements in the fibers used, design and shape of the helmet, and increased modularity. Early helmet systems of this new design are the American PASGT, the Spanish MARTE, the Italian SEPT-2 PLUS, and British Mk6.

List of military helmets


Model Image Origins First Issued Users Notes
6B26 Blank.png  Russia Part of Ratnik infantry system
6B27 Blank.png  Russia Part of Ratnik infantry system
6B28 Blank.png  Russia Part of Ratnik infantry system
6B7 Blank.png  Russia This helmet and its variants are the standard-issue headgear of the Russian army, they also are replacing older helmets like the SSh-68 Part of Ratnik infantry system,
6B7-1L Blank.png  Russia Russian army and Naval Infantry Russia part of Ratnik infantry system
Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) 1st MEB Helmet Insignia.jpeg  United States 2002 US Army Developed from the Modular Integrated Communications Helmet[12][13][14]
BK-3 Helmet Blank.png  Croatia Bulgaria, Croatia Further updated version of the BK-6.
BK-6 Helmet Blank.png  Croatia Croatian Army, Swedish Army, German Army, Kuwaiti Army, French Army, Singapore Army, Israel Army, Saudi Arabian Army, Polish Armed Forces, Australian Army, Turkish Armed Forces, Czech Army, Bulgarian Army, United Arab Emirates Army, Lithuanian Armed Forces, Mexican Army, Spanish Army, Pakistan Army, Malaysian Army, Saudi Arabian Army, Finnish Army, National Army of Colombia, Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Indonesian Army, Italian Army, Military of Hungary, Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic, People's Liberation Army and by the police forces of the following countries: Croatia, Turkey, UK, Spain, Republic of Macedonia, Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Colombia, Italy, Ukraine, by Argentina and by the UN demining committee.[15]
BK-6 Blank.png  Mexico Kevlar helmet, adopted in the 2000s (decade). used in conjunction supplementation role with the PASGT. - Imported helmet.
BK-ACH Helmet Blank.png  Croatia Croatian Army Updated version of the BK-6.
CABAL II Blank.png  Argentina Ballistic Helmet M-6 for Argentine Infantry Approved by CITEFA NIJ Level II according to the standards currently in stage R3B certified to MIL-Std 662 E.[16] However it wasn´t issued in large scales.
CCB Blank.png  Brazil Brazilian Armed Forces in two versions: Polymer and Kevlar.[17]
CG634 Blank.png  Canada 1997 Canadian Forces since 1998 - license-built SPECTRA variant with superior ballistic protection.[18][19]
Cobra Plus Combat Helmet Blank.png  United States 2013 Denmark,[20] United Kingdom[21]
Enhanced Combat Helmet (RBH 303 AU) Blank.png  Israel The RBH 303AU model was made specially for the Australian Defence Force and adopted in 2004, replacing the M91 PASGT helmet, since now replaced. Also in service with the New Zealand Defence Force since 2009. MICH 2000 style helmet made by Rabintex, Israel[22]
Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH) PEO Soldier Enhanced Combat Helmet profile.jpg  United States Designed as an upgrade to the Advanced Combat Helmet. Uses thermoplastics instead of ballistic fibers.
Exfil Ballistic Helmet  United States Australian Defence Force includes gun rails and night vison goggle mount
Gefechtshelm Schuberth B826 (M92) BGS-Helm M92 - 1.png  Germany Bundeswehr, Swiss Armed Forces, Dutch Army, Estonian Defence Forces, Czech Army, Denmark, Norway - PASGT type helmet
Gefechtshelm Schuberth B828 Airborne and B828 Tactical Cut Blank.png  Germany Limited use by the paratroops in Bundeswehr like Fallschirmjäger, Spezialisierte Kräfte des Heeres mit Erweiterter Grundbefähigung für Spezielle Operationen and Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK) - MICH 2000 and MICH 2001 type helmets
GK80 Blank.png  People's Republic of China People's Liberation Army
GOLFO Blank.png  Chile Military of Chile, Similar to the PASGT.
Helm wz. 2005 Blank.png  Poland Polish Armed Forces. Supplementing the older Helm wz. 93 currently in use. Similar in size to the American Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH), similar look to the PASGT.
Helm wz. 93 Blank.png  Poland Polish Armed Forces. Being replaced by the Helm wz. 2005.[23]
Hjälm 90 Hjälm M90 Artillerimuseet 2917.jpg  Sweden Swedish Armed Forces
Hjelm Cato Blank.png  Norway Norwegian Armed Forces in the early 2000s (decade). Similar to the Swedish Hjalm 90.
K/92 Helmet  Finland Finnish Defense Forces. Replaced in the early 2000s (decade) by the M/02. - PASGT-Hjelm style blend helmet
KASDA Blank.png  Israel Israel Defense Forces, Guatemalan Army
Kyung Chang Industry (KCI) Blank.png  South Korea Republic of Korea Armed Forces. - PASGT type helmet
Kolpak 2  Russia Russian army
Lightweight Helmet (LWH)  United States United States Marine Corps[24]
M02 Composite Helmet  Finland Finnish Defence Forces
M76 paratrooper helmet  United Kingdom British Armed forces Paratroopers and Airborne forces.
M80 Helmet Iraqhelm3300000.JPG  Iraq Plastic and cloth copy of the M1 Helmet, Developed during Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Limited use on the modern Iraqi army.
M80/03 Helmet Blank.png  Iraq Improved and stronger variant of the M80 helmet, this version has a distinct cover
M83 helmet Blank.png  South Africa Paratroopers of the South African Army Variant of the OR-201 helmet
M87  South Africa South African Army
M90 Helmet Blank.png  Iraq Another Iraqi copy of the M1 helmet, unlike the M80 helmet the M90 helmet is composed purely of plastic
M91 helmet  Australia Australian Defense Force. PASGT kevlar helmet. Was made by RBR Armour Systems Pty Ltd (Australia.) Also made by Gentex USA. The Australian PASGT helmet was identical to the USA PASGT helmet with the exception of a 3-point chin strap, much like the chin strap of the German B826 Gefechsthelm. Was replaced in 2004.
MARTE helmet Blank.png  Spain 1985 Versions I to IV, MARTE IV Kevlar helmet currently used by the Spanish Armed Forces. - Similar to the PASGT. - Protec type helmet replacing it in the Spanish Navy Marines.
Mile Dragić M-05 Blank.png  Serbia Serbian Special Forces—MICH type helmet[25]
Mile Dragić M-97 Blank.png  Serbia Serbian Army - PASGT type helmet[26]
Mk. 6 Helmet Mk6helmet.JPG  United Kingdom British Armed Forces.[27] being replaced by the Mk. 7 Helmet
Mk. 7 Helmet Mk VII Helmet MOD 45150536.jpg  United Kingdom British Armed forces
MKH/PA-1 Blank.png  India Kevlar helmet worn by the Indian Armed Forces.- PASGT type helmet.
Modular Integrated Communications Helmet (MICH)  United States Developed for special operations use by the United States Army it became the basis for the Advanced Combat Helmet
MPC-1 Blank.png  Slovenia Variant of OR-201 helmet
NP Aerospace AC200/650  Greece Greek Special Forces - Gefechshelm type helmet. - Hellenic Army, Navy and Air Force primarily use the PASGT
Ops-Core FAST Helmet A U.S. Marine with a Marine special operations team assists with security during the construction of an Afghan Local Police (ALP) checkpoint in Helmand province, Afghanistan, March 30, 2013 130330-M-BO337-105.jpg  United States United States special operations, United States SWAT and Law Enforcement, German Bundeswehr, Norwegian Armed Forces, Australian Defence Force, Australian Federal Police and others.
OR-201 Blank.png  Israel Israel Defense Forces, Some units of Special forces of Indian Army, Irish Defence Force, Lebanon (Lebanese Forces, South Lebanon Army, Hezbollah, Lebanese Army), Honduran Army, Guatemalan Army, Peruvian Army, Romanian Army, Nicaragua (National Guard and Police), Portugal (Portuguese Marine Corps), South African Defence Force, Chilean Army (1st Parachutists Battalion "Pelantaru" (1º Batallón de Paracaidistas "Pelantaru")), Sri Lanka, and other countries.
PATKA Blank.png  India Indian Armed Forces. Indigenously built helmet. It can prevent 7.62mm AKM round
PASGT helmet Blank.png  United States First issued in 1983 to replace the M1 helmet. Former kevlar helmet used by the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy. Used by the USAF, but is being phased out by the ACH[28] US Air Force.[29] Adopted by the Mexican Armed Forces in the 1990s to replace the M1 helmet. Replaced the M1 helmet of the Argentine army and modified with padded interiors. US-made PASGT helmets (by UNICOR and Gentex) replaced the New Zealand M1 helmet and were in use until the adoption of the Australian ECH.[30]
QGF02 Blank.png  People's Republic of China People's Liberation Army
QGF03 Blank.png  People's Republic of China People's Liberation Army
QGF11 Blank.png  People's Republic of China People's Liberation Army
RBH303IE Blank.png  Ireland Irish Defence Force Variant of the Enhanced Combat Helmet (Australia) helmet
Savar SVRH01 Blank.png  Turkey Turkish Armed Forces and General Directorate of Security
Savar SVRH02 Blank.png  Turkey Police Special Operation Department of the General Directorate of Security
Sistema Compositi SEPT-2 PLUS Blank.png  Italy Italian Armed Forces[31]
Sistema Compositi SUPERUBOTT Blank.png  Italy Special Units (particularly GIS) of the Italian Law Enforcement community[32]
SPECTRA helmet Blank.png  France French Army, Austrian Army, Bangladesh Army, Danish Army, Malta Army, Royal Moroccan Army, Ukrainian Ground Forces, and United Nations peacekeeping forces[33]
SSh-68 Blank.png  Soviet Union} Steel helmet, being withdrawn from the Russian army, used in many other countries.
STSh-81 Blank.png  Soviet Union Titanium helmet
Type 88 Helmet Blank.png  Japan JSDF - PASGT type helmet
Vz.53 helmet Blank.png  Czechoslovakia


Model Image Origins First issued Users
1935/38 M. rohamsisak  Hungary 1935  Hungary,  Finland
1950 M rohamsisak  Hungary 1950  Hungary
1970 M rohamsisak  Hungary 1970  Hungary
Adrian helmet Casque de Marcel Hébrard.jpg  France 1915 [4] used in  France,  Belgium,

 Russian Empire, Japan Japan,  Serbia,  Yugoslavia,  United States,  Soviet Union, Irish Free State,  Italy,  Republic of China,  Manchukuo,  Peru,  Romania,  Mexico,  Greece,  Uruguay,  Thailand, Brazil

Belgian M26/32  Belgium 1926  Belgium,  Luxembourg
Brodie helmet M1917helmet.jpg  United Kingdom 1915 used in  United Kingdom,  Canada,  United States (1917-1942),  Australia,[34]  Republic of China,  Estonia,  Belgium,  New Zealand,  South Africa,  India,  the Netherlands,  Portugal, Luxembourg,  Commonwealth of the Philippines (1935-1944)
Bulgarian M36 Helmet Bulgarian M36 Helmet side.jpg  Bulgaria 1936  Bulgaria[35]
Czechoslovakian Model 1932 Steel Helmet  Czechoslovakia 1932  Czechoslovakia
Danish M1923 Helmet Danish anti-aircraft crew.jpg  Denmark 1923  Denmark
Dutch M-28 helmet  Netherlands 1928  Netherlands,  Romania
Greek M1934/39 (helmet) M1934 side view.jpg  Italy 1939  Greece
Hełm wz. 31 CascPol-m31.jpg  Poland 1931  Poland
Hełm wz. 50  Poland 1950  Poland
Hełm wz. 67  Poland 1967  Poland
Helmet Steel Airborne Troop Paratroop Training in Netheravon, Britain, October 1942 TR178.jpg  UK 1941 used in  CAN,  BEL,  Rhodesia,  UK
Irish M1928  Ireland 1928  Ireland
M1 helmet M1helmetshell.jpg  United States 1941  USA,  Mexico,  Canada,[36]

 Austria,  Belgium,  Czechoslovakia,  Denmark,  West Germany (1956-1992),  Greece,  Netherlands,  Norway,  Poland,  Spain,  Turkey,  Republic of China,  Egypt,  Iran,  Iraq,  South Korea,  Philippines (1944-1991),  Singapore,  Saudi Arabia,  Thailand,  Australia,  New Zealand (1960-2000),  Guatemala,  Argentina, Brazil,  Chile,  Peru,  Venezuela,  Uruguay

M33 helmet M33 1940.jpg  Italy 1934  Italy,  Finland
M42 Duperite helmet Australian paratrooper with Austen gun.jpg  AUS 1942 Paratrooper helmet
M63 Staaldak  South Africa 1963  Rhodesia,  South Africa
Mk III Turtle helmet Stahlhelm 5 WWII Canada.jpg  United Kingdom 1944  United Kingdom,  Canada
Mº 44 E.T.A. de Paracaidista  Argentina 1944 used by Argentine Paratroopers
Modèle 1951 Modèle 1951 helmet 6331.jpg  France 1951  France,  South Vietnam,  South Africa,  Cambodia, Laos,  Lebanon,  Israel,  Portugal,  Rhodesia
Norwegian M31  Norway 1931  Norway
Portuguese M1940 Paulo Portas with Donald Rumsfeld 09.JPEG  Portugal 1940  Portugal
RAC helmet  United Kingdom  United Kingdom,  Belgium
Soviet helmets during World War II  Soviet Union  Soviet Union,  People's Republic of China,  North Korea,  North Vietnam,  Finland, Warsaw Pact
Spanish M1926, M1942 Modelo Z  Spain 1926  Spain
Stahlhelm[7][8] Brow-armor.jpg  German Empire 1916  Weimar Republic,  Nazi Germany,  Turkey, Chile Chile,  Republic of China,  China,  Colombia,  Argentina,  Bolivia,  Mexico,  Irish Free State,  Italy,  Poland,  Estonia,  Finland,  Latvia,  Lithuania,  Portugal,  Spain,  Afghanistan
Swedish M1926  Sweden 1926  Sweden
Swedish M1937 Swedish M1937-65 helmet.jpg  Sweden 1937  Sweden
Swiss M1918/40   Switzerland 1918   Switzerland,  Argentina
Type 66 Helmet  Japan 1966 Variant of M1 Helmet used by some elements of the JSDF Ground Forces
Type 90  Japan  Japan,  Thailand,  China

Medieval and early Modern

Model Origin Users
Armet 15th century Western Europeans.
Barbute 15th century Italian states.
Bascinet c. 1300 Europeans during the Hundred Years' War(1337 to 1453) amid the kingdoms of Flag of Île-de-France.svg France,  Aquitaine, Flag of Bourgogne.svg Burgundy and  England
Burgonet[37] c. 1600 Europeans, especially by militias of  Poland &   Switzerland
Capeline late 16th century Europeans during the 17th century, including the English Civil War in  England & Thirty Years' War across the  Holy Roman Empire
Cervelliere late 13th century Christian Europeans in Crusades during the 14th century
Close helmet late 15th century Western Europeans.
Dragoon helmet late 18th century  France .
Enclosed helmet late 12th century Western Europeans.
Frog-mouth helm c. 1600 Western Europeans.
Great helm[38] 1189 Christian Europeans in Third Crusade; other Europeans until 1540
Hounskull 14th century Western Europeans.
Kabuto c. 1600 Samurai especially during the 17th century of the Edo-period Tokugawa shogunate in Medieval  Japan.
Kettle hat 12th century Common all over medieval Europe.
Morion 16th and early 17th centuries Europeans (esp. associated with Spanish Conquistadores)
Nasal helmet Early Middle Ages Byzantine Empire, later common all over Europe.
Pickelhaube[7][8] 1842 especially by  Prussia &  German Empire and other Europeans until 1918; revived for 2006 FIFA World Cup in  Germany
Raupenhelm c. 1800-1870 High crested leather helmet used primarily by  Kingdom of Bavaria and  Württemberg
Sallet c. 1450 used in Northern Europe &  Hungary until the mid-16th century
Secrete 17th century Western Europeans
Spangenhelm[39] 5th century Central Asia, Near East & Europe; espec. by Scythians, Sarmatians, Persians, & Germans until 1000
Tarleton c. 1770-1800 Crested, peaked leather helmet used by cavalry and light infantry by  Great Britain,  France and  USA in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Qing parade helmet after 1655 till 1911 China
Zischagge c. 1600-1780 Originated in Ottoman Empire, used by the most of the Europe.

See also headgear listing within Components of medieval armour.

Ancient militaries

Model Origin Users
Attic helmet ancient Greeks
Boar's tusk helmet 17th century BCE Mycenaean Greeks until 10th century BCE
Boeotian helmet ancient Greek cavalry
Chalcidian helmet ancient Greeks
Corinthian helmet[40] ancient Greeks
Disc and stud helmet c. 400 BCE ancient Illyrians & Adriatic Veneti until 167 BCE
Galea (helmet) ancient Romans
Horned helmet c. 1000 BCE Celtic Europeans until 700 CE
Illyrian type helmet ancient Greeks
Kegelhelm ancient Greeks
Negau helmet ancient Etruscans in Negau, Slovenia
Montefortino helmet ancient Romans
Pilos ancient Greeks
Pot helmet ancient Illyrians
Phrygian/Thracian helmet 5th century BCE ancient Greeks in Thrace, Dacia, Italia & Hellenistic Europe until c. 200 CE


Cushioning is used to negate concussive injuries. Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory published a study in 2011 that concluded that the addition of an eighth of an inch/3 millimetres of cushion decreased the impact force to the skull by 24%.[41]


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  41. ^ Regg Zoroya (17 April 2011). "Larger helmet could guard against brain injury to troops". USA TODAY. Retrieved 17 April 2011.

External links