By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
All photos and video contained in this article were shot by DefenseReview.com (DR), and are copyrighted. DefenseReview.com owns the copyright on these photos. The photos were shot with a Canon PowerShot S90 10-megapixel digital camera (still camera with video capability).
October 6, 2011
DefenseReview (DR) has mentioned the Ops-Core FAST (Future Assault Shell Technology) Ballitic Helmet (NIJ Level IIIA) with FAST-ARC 4-Position Accessory Rail Connectors and integrated Head-Loc Chin Strap Retention System in a couple of previous articles on other military tactical products (Atlantic Signal Dominator tactical comms headset and Revision Military BATLSKIN ballistic combat helmet/visor/face shield system). Well, we just received an email message yesterday from one of our U.S. military Special Operations Forces (SOF) contacts that a U.S. Army SF (Special Forces) unit will be receiving the FAST Ballitic Helmet for its next Afghanistan deployment. It would seem logical that the new helmets will feature Crye Precision's very popular MultiCam all-terrain/multi-environment/arid conditions camouflage pattern (unconfirmed/unverified), since that's now the standard camo pattern for Stan, but we're not sure yet.
When we spoke with him on the phone, Defense Review's U.S. military SOF contact commented that he thought it was interesting that with this Ops-Core FAST Ballistic Helmet procurement and deployment, the Army would appear to be coming full circle back to a minimalist helmet with less cranial coverage in order to save as much weight and lighten the soldier's load as much as possible. He also noted that the new helmet is similar in configuration to a lightweight version of the MICH/ACH (Modular Integrated Communications Helmet/Advanced Combat Helmet)with side/ear cuts and abbreviated rear section that U.S. military SOF assaulters/operators used to be issued.
DefenseReview knows the approximate number of FAST Ballistic helmets that are being issued to that one SF unit, but we're not going to disclose that for reasons of OPSEC. It's of course possible that the Ops-Core FAST Ballistic Helmet could be issued Army SF-wide, so it will be interesting to see if that happens (DR knows that number, as well).
We should perhaps mention that Ops-Core is owned and operated by David Rogers, who also owns and operates Artisent, which is the industrial design, engineering and prototyping firm that designed and developed the original helmet for the U.S. Army Natick's Scorpion program, which developed into the Objective Force Warrior (OFW) program (, which then developed into the Future Force Warrior (FFW) program, which was supposed to have eventually developed into the Future Warrior (FW) program. Scorpion, OFW, and FFW were all promoted and demo'd by Jean-Louis "Dutch" DeGay. By the way, the aforementioned Crye Precision MultiCam multi-environrment/all-terrain camo pattern came from Scorpion/OFW/FFW as well.
And, speaking of Crye Precision, DR is once again curious as to how the Crye Precision AirFrame Helmet ballistic combat helmet (Medium: 2.30 lbs; Large: 2.55 lbs) stacks up against the Ops-Core FAST Ballistic Helmet with regard to comfort and ballistic performance. In theory, at least, the AirFrame Helmet should allow for better air flow thanks to its two-piece-construction "vented shell" design with rear-facing horizontal-plane air vent on the top-rear. However, the monolithic-construction FAST Ballistic Helmet should theoretically offer superior protection vs. the AirFrame Helmet against rifle shots from the rear…theoretically. Both aspects (airflow and ballistic protection from rear shots) would have to be tested, of course. It should be noted that the AirFrame Helmet utilizes the OpsCore H-Nape Head-Loc retention system for "unmatched stability, comfort, and ease of adjustment", so Ops-Core wins even if the Crye AirFrame Helmet wins a big contract.
Defense Review shot a whole bunch of photos of the various Ops-Core FAST helmets at the Ops-Core booth during SHOT Show 2011, including some with a Contour HD tactical/combat helmet cam (tactical helmet camera) and some other mini camera systems mounted on one of the FAST-ARCs 4-positicon accessory rail connectors:
We also shot some good video of Atlantic Signal's Director of Operations/Military Sales Division Manager Randall Hedrick demonstrating the FAST Helmet's features at the 2011 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC 2011):
DR discussed the Contour HD mini mountable/mobile video camera system back in our article on the Daniel Defense DDM4 V7 mid-length direct-gas-impingement (DGI) tactical AR (AR-15) carbine/rifle with DD MFR 12.0 (Daniel Defense Modular Float Rail 12.0), which we published back in June (2011). The Contour HD camera system was mounted as a gun cam (gun camera) in that particular instance, and we shot some video of the system:
The Ops-Core website provides the following information on the Ops-Core FAST Ballistic Helmet:
- Lightweight, multi-impact, ventilated liner with repositionable EPP impact pads and LDV closed-cell comfort foam that is not affected by temperature, altitude, or moisture
- Occ-Dial adjustable fitband with replaceable leather front, nape, and side pads quickly detaches to allow convenient donning and doffing of COMs headsets with internal top headbands
- Integrated Head-Loc chinstrap retention system gives helmet 4x more stability than standard issue ACH helmet suspension / retention products
- FAST-ARCs – 4 Position Accessory Rail Connectors: non-snag attachment points for quick yet secure donning or doffing of headborne accessories
– works in conjunction with locking and rotating adapters that utilize emergency break-away features for airborne operations
– upper ARC dovetail for devices like low-profile lights, video camera, visor, mandible and up-armor side covers
– corner ARC buckle receiver for gas and O2 mask strap kit attachments that eliminate the bulk and clutter of traditional bayonet style mounts
– lower ARC dovetail for devices like flip-out COMs headset, battery pack, goggle strap keeper, mandible and up-armor side covers — over-the-center side hook attachment for devices like illuminator, strobe light and battery pack
- BISS-NVD lanyard / elastic tensioner to eliminate night vision mount / device rattle or vibration – Standard MARSOC / WARCOM 3-hole pattern – Ops-Core VAS Shroud (sold separately): compatible with front mount visors, flashlights and other visual enhancement devices – Please specify if you need a Left Eye Dominant chinstrap side buckle – FAST Ballistic Helmet is on USAF Approved for Use List – This product is restricted to US Military, Law Enforcement, DOD and Security personnel
FAST Helmet in use: ABC Nightline footage of DEA FAST Team doing a drug raid (8/12/09)
FAST Helmets are currently backordered in all sizes and colors. There is a 12 week lead time for most new orders (16 weeks for MultiCam or MARPAT). We apologize for this inconvenience and are working to improve the lead time.
Weight: Small/Medium: 2.67 lbs (1211g); Medium/Large: 2.93 lbs (1328g); Large/Extra-Large: 3.18 lbs (1445g)
$882.00 USD (US Military Price) / $980.00 USD (International Price)
"Field of Vision
Stunning footage is what makes the shot, and the Contour+ is specifically set up for capturing the perfect visuals. The reason is a market-leading mix of camera technology, from a six-element glass lens and 1080p video quality, to adjustable white balance for dialing in the details of each location. The Contour+ also expands normal perspective with an F 2.8, 170° superwide-angle lens, integrating peripherals and backdrops that would get cropped with a narrower focus. In addition, we incorporated a 270° rotating lens to allow you mount or position the camera in an infinite number of ways.
Action moves at real time, so why deal with a delay in the coverage? The Contour+ enables live streaming – via HDMI, creating a direct connection to film shoots, event coverage and contest runs. Whether for broadcast or simply building a following, this capability allows videographers and athletes to provide an inside window into the action. No other hands-free camera can make this claim, so grab this one if you're headed to the X Games.
With all our modern devices, connection is key – so we've made the Contour+ the most connected POV camera ever. First up is Bluetooth®, which provides filmmakers a wireless viewfinder via your mobile phone/device to check the angle before dropping in. The camera also connects via an HDMI port, allowing live streaming of HD video via monitor or TV – to quickly and easily watch and enjoy your videos. This eliminates the lag time of downloads and transfers when checking footage on location or back home.
Video is only one part of the story, which is why we've equipped the Contour+ with an external 2.5mm microphone jack. This audio capability allows you to improve and open up your sound options from interviews to getting audio in difficult or once unattainable situations. Use it with a high quality external microphone or headset to really get pro quality audio.
We’ve packed the Contour+ full of filmmaking features that you might not know you need until you dive into the next project. Start with the legendary ContourHD video quality, offering an array of resolutions and frame rates as well as a 5 megapixel still mode. To that winning package we mix in our industry-leading GPS recording that tracks speed, location, and elevation four times per second. Bottom line – the Contour+ is stacked with everything you need to get the shot and tell the story.
What's in the Box
2 Rotating Flat Surface Mounts
2GB SD Card*
Company Contact Info:
Ops-Core, Inc. (USPS Mailing Address)
319R A Street, Suite 1
Boston, MA 02210
Email Contact Page: http://www.ops-core.com/contact.cfm
Ops-Core, Inc. (Shipping Address)
319 A Street, Rear Ground Floor
Boston, MA 02210
Daniel Defense, Inc. (Contour Tactical Industry Rep.)
101 Warfighter Way
Black Creek, GA 31308
Email Contact Form: https://danieldefense.com/contacts
3131 Western Ave., Suite 410
Seattle, WA 98121
Office 1: 206-792-5226
Toll Free: 866-397-6920
Email General Info: [email protected]
Email Support: [email protected]
Email Contact Page: http://contour.com/support
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