3M to supply helmets to U.S. marines

3M announced on Tuesday that it will supply Enhanced Combat Helmets to the United States Marine Corps.

The USMC contract is set up with 3M's wholly-owned subsidiary Ceradyne, Inc. The total order comes out to $80 million for 77,000 Enhanced Combat Helmets and other associated parts. The contract is part of the joint procurement program led by the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army.

"3M is pleased to win this significant contract," Mark Colin, the vice president and general manager of 3M Advanced Ceramics Platform, said. "We have the scientific know-how to supply our U.S. forces with the best helmets on the market to protect the lives of our warriors."

The helmets are designed to provide improved ballistic and fragmentation protection. The helmet was tested extensively by the USMC and Army. It weighs the equivalent amount of a current service helmet, but provides 50 percent improved ballistic coverage.

While working with the United States Army, the Marine Corps worked to develop a helmet that was both lightweight and had improved ballistic protection from selected small-arms ammunition and fragmentation. The helmet meets the Army's requirement for advanced combat and be compatible with other areas of infantry combat, like body armor systems, protective goggles, night vision equipment and a camouflage fabric helmet cover.

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