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Early 1998 CGF Prototype/Test SOCOM MICH Helmet


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This is the earliest dated MICH design helmet I have run across as of yet. Under the "SPEAR" program, Special Operations Command teamed with the French helmet maker CGF Gallet in 1997 to develop a new helmet which became known as the Modular Integrated Communications Helmet - "MICH". It was later issued to all forces and renamed the Advanced Combat Helmet - "ACH".

 

This is a used prototype / test helmet as the overall shape is the same, however it is finished in a darker Olive Drab color and uses a three point chinstrap with only three securing bolts.

 

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The interior suspension is not the issue pad system, but one of the standard types used by CGF during the 1990's for their French produced helmets issued to many European nations. The right side chinstrap ladder lock has been broken and field repaired with a piece of 100mph tape.

 

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Labeled with the Severna Park Maryland address established by CGF in 1997 (note Severna Park is actually misspelled in the label). Dated 1998 with very early production serial number of #000193.

 

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you have a nice helmet here, a little number of these Gallet models were used earlier than the MICH by special forces (both Army and USN). An helmet i'd like to have in my collection....in my opinion helmet just like this one were the ones seen in hands of delta force soldiers before the MICH went widespread.

 

But what makes it an experimental helmet?

 

i should have it in my hands (and i'd like to, since it's a VERY nice helmet), but it looks like the chinstrap is not original to the helmet, but an aftermarket 3-point PASGT chinstrap. do the plastic buckle and slides have a date on them? that particular combination of rounded buckles and triglides is identical to the old SDS 3 point pasgt chinstrap. I think it once had the classic velcro chinstrap with metal slides and leather chincup, fastened with phillips head screws.

The darker olive shade is typical here for european helmets.

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Thanks all for the comments!

 

taucco,

 

You bring up a very good point and I have also seen that exact chinstrap you mentioned on an early MICH shaped helmet described used by SEALS in the late 1990's. That one while having the MICH shape had six smaller PASGT style screws (Phillips) around the perimeter to hold the suspension.

 

Here are a few photos I found of the aftermarket SDS PASGT chinstrap you mentioned. While very similar the buckles have no markings, and the attachment material is heavier weave nylon material. The color is a darker green, and I read these also come in black. If you have seen these marked or such would like to know.

 

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The chinstrap on mine is of the same color (lighter OD) as the one you mentioned with the leather chin cup. While made in the same way the rear attachment is from the same lighter material as the chinstrap. It is connected in the front with plastic "P Clamps" as seen used on CGF/MSA helmets and with the strap only in the back.

 

The buckles while looking the same are all four marked with the "YKK" marking found on the early CGF produced helmets with these more squared Ladder Locks (buckles). If replaced I would suspect the front two might have it from another later MICH add on, but the rear two permanently attached to the chinstrap are also marked. They changed to a rounded edge with no lettering in 2003-2004.

 

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Here is a 2002 produced CGF Ladder Lock and "P Clamp" attachment for comparison

 

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What do you think?

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