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Variant of South African M87

Article about: I wonder if anyone can assist me here. I recently acquired a version of the South African M87 helmet. There are some differences to the SA original; the fabric used in the liner and chinstra

  1. #1

    Default Variant of South African M87

    I wonder if anyone can assist me here. I recently acquired a version of the South African M87 helmet. There are some differences to the SA original; the fabric used in the liner and chinstrap rigging is slightly different, the shell is green rather than light brown, and it has a noticeably larger rubber rim than the SA original.

    The biggest (literally and figuratively) difference is that it is extraordinarily heavy, it weighs in at a whopping 1986g as opposed to 1214g for a SA standard version. The sort of weight I would expect for an assault helmet, designed to be worn for minutes rather than hours.

    The only clues I have so far is that it may be an export version supplied to a European nation. Can anyone here tell me more?

    The original M87 can be seen at Composite Helmet, Ballistic helmets, Military helmets SOUTH AFRICA, SOUTH AFRICAN helmet, Kevlar helmet, as can a helmet apparently similar to the helmet I have, though I have not been able to establish whether the weight of that is the same huge amount.


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    Last edited by Greg Pickersgill; 12-09-2014 at 01:37 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Variant of South African M87

    It propably is an European export because the color is not nutria. SADF has most of its equipment in this color I believe.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Variant of South African M87

    That did seem clear. The South African issue helmets I have are in the colour that they call 'nutria'. Though why they should name it after a species of water-rodent I do not know. We call them coypu in the UK anyway. They're not even that rather charming SA-helmet light tan colour, being a much darker dirty brown.

    Anyone got any sensible ideas of where these helmets might have been tested, or why they are so absurdly heavy?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Variant of South African M87

    Most likely a prototype or a vehicle operator helmet in my opinion.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Variant of South African M87

    Certainly not a AFV helmet. No room for a vehicle comms headset and, importantly, far too heavy. If you read my initial posting again you will see that apart from the minor cosmetic differences of colour the important difference between this and the original M87 is **WEIGHT**. It is more than 500g heavier than any other composite helmet I have including the original M87. Most tank/armoured troops helmets are in fact *lighter* than infantry combat helmets.

    As there's no obvious sign of this being used en masse in any European army it can be taken as given that it is a test piece, but obviously *not* a one-off either. It's become clear that no-one - on this forum or any others I have tried - has a clue as to what is actually going on. Maybe I ought to try contacting SAPHI; trouble is, in my experience one doesn't get much of a response from manufacturers when asking this sort of question ("Who do you sell your weird experimental helmets to then eh?")

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