India’s DRDO develops lightweight HMDS helmet for Indian Air Force


Defence News:India’s premier defence research body, Defence Research and Development Orgnaisation (DRDO), has developed a new lightweight integrated helmet to be used by Indian Air Force pilots, flying the country’s front-line fighters such as Sukhoi 30-MKI, Mig-29, Mirage 2000 and also Russian made vintage Mig 21 Bisons.

“The integrated helmet-mask assembly has been designed to primarily incorporate Helmet Mounted Display and Sight (HMDS) as per the user requirement,” DRDO said in a statement.

The apex defence research body said these helmets were subjected to open jet wind blast test at 600 KEAS at DGA, CEAT, France as per the parameters specified in MiL 29591/1(AS).

The integrated helmet with internally retractable dual polycarbonate visor system  and pressure breathing oxygen mask has been developed by Defence Bio-Engineering & Electro Medical Laboratory (DEBEL), located in Bangalore, Karnataka in Southern India.

The development of an indigenous HMDS display for fighter pilots will help the country to save precious forex reserves through import substitution. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has launched an ambitious programme under flagship Make in India in Defence scheme to develop an advanced military-industrial complex on the lines of US defence industry.

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DRDO said these helmets have been developed to meet the specific requirement of the Indian Air Force.

“The helmet-mask assembly was subjected to eight different profiles and has successfully withstood all the tests thereby proving the integrity of Helmet-Mask assembly during ejection,” said the apex defence research body.  

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Private Indian defence companies participated in the test

The DRDO said a team led by Dr R Indushekar, DEBEL with representatives of the Air Headquarters (Flying Clothing Cell), Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness (A/C), Director General Air Quality Assurance (DGAQA), were involved in the test.

In addition to these organisations, the Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM); Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), and also two private Indian defence companies – Shakti Enterprises and Vega Aviation were involved in the successful test of new lightweight helmets for Indian Air Force.

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The premier defence research organisation said the data obtained from 3-axes head accelerometer, eye pressure sensors, mouth sensor and bending moment and tensile force transducers in the neck (C1 & C7), was analysed by the Institute for Aerospace Medicines as per the AGARD technique met the neck injury criteria.

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