Future Assault Shell Technology helmet

The Ops-Core Future Assault Shell Technology (FAST) Helmet, also known as the FAST helmet, is a combat helmet that is used by special forces units seeking to use an alternative headgear while trading some ballistic protection for comfortable headwear to use.

Future Assault Shell Technology helmet
A U.S. Marine with a Marine special operations team wearing a FAST helmet.
TypeCombat helmet
Place of originUnited States of America
Service history
In service2009 – Present
Used bySee Users
WarsWar on Terror
Production history
DesignerU.S. Army Research Laboratory in collaboration with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center and the Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier
Designed2005 – Present
Produced2009 – Present


It was developed by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in collaboration with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center and the Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier as part of the Army Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Program, which led to the development of other helmets such as the Maritime helmet and the Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH).[1][2]

The name FAST helmet was coined by a manufacturing company called Ops-Core in 2005.[3] The helmet was publicly revealed in 2009 at the annual SHOT SHOW convention.[4] It was issued to U.S. special forces operators deployed in Afghanistan.[5]


Compared to standard combat helmets, the FAST helmet offers a 25 percent weight reduction and is notable for its early use of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene fibers (UHMWPE) in its design.[1][2] It was also designed to allow outside features such as tactical and communications protective system (TCAPS) devices to be attached to the helmet.[6]



  1. "ARL-led program enables new manufacturing processes for ballistic protection". EurekaAlert!. May 16, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  2. National Research Council (2014). Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.
  3. "THE FAST HELMET | FUTURE ASSAULT SHELL TECHNOLOGY EXPLAINED". Hard Head Veterans. June 1, 2018. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  4. "Ops-Core Releases New Products - Soldier Systems Daily".
  5. Crane+, David. "Ops-Core FAST Ballistic Helmet (Crye MultiCam Camo Pattern?) Military Combat Helmet with FAST-ARC Accessory Rail Connectors and Head-Loc Chinstrap Retention System Going Operational in Afghanistan with U.S. Army Special Forces: FAST Helmet Demo Video, and Contour HD Tactical Helmet Cam (Camera) Photos!". DefenseReview.com (DR): An online tactical technology and military defense technology magazine with particular focus on the latest and greatest tactical firearms news (tactical gun news), tactical gear news and tactical shooting news.
  6. Scharine, Angelique; Weatherless, Rachel (September 2013). "Evaluation of Variants of 3M Peltor ComTAC Tactical Communication and Protection System (TCAPS) Headsets: Measures of Hearing Protection and Auditory Performance". U.S. Army Research Laboratory via ResearchGate.
  7. http://sipol.at/en/2017/03/30/new-gear/
  8. https://www.reddit.com/r/belgium/comments/50gh4n/belgiums_special_forces/
  9. http://www.veterans-jobs-center.com/vjc/les-chroniques-de-vjc/forces-speciales-retex-ou-quand-le-bon-matos-t-evite-d-etre-porte-par-six-.html
  10. "Contracts Worth US$ 745 Million Announced At DSA 2016". www.defenseworld.net.
  11. "New Ballistic Helmets for the Army - Malaysian Defence".
  12. https://www.overtdefense.com/2018/10/05/video-inside-new-zealand-sass-battle-training-facility/
  13. "Ops-Core Helmets for the whole Norwegian Army". Military Times. September 7, 2011. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  14. https://web.archive.org/web/20190927152509/http://www.special-ops.pl/artykul/id319,shot-show-2013?p=5
  15. "Ops-Core Helmet Saves Turkish Soldier's Life - Soldier Systems Daily".
  16. https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/11305/ukrainian-spetnazs-weapons-and-gear-may-show-an-american-touch
  17. "Ops-Core Awarded Contract to Supply UAE with the Ops-Core FAST Ballistic High Cut (XP) Helmet". Gentex. 12 November 2013.
  18. "Combat Helmets Have Moved Beyond Just Protection". Task & Purpose. 12 June 2015.
  19. "Ops-Core Helmet Saves LAPD SWAT Officer's Life - Soldier Systems Daily".
  20. https://web.archive.org/web/20190416191647/https://www.fbo.gov/index.php?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=530709eb3f91576ec54d9e928ca6226e&tab=core&_cview=1
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