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British Mk7 helmet - everything you need to know

Article about: Guys, First of all, thank you for deciding to read this thread....I was gonna throw in an "SS" or "FJ" into the Thread name but thought better of it.... I'm starting this

  1. #1

    Default British Mk7 helmet - everything you need to know

    Guys,

    First of all, thank you for deciding to read this thread....I was gonna throw in an "SS" or "FJ" into the Thread name but thought better of it....

    I'm starting this thread as a dumping ground for all things Mk7. If we're not careful, this British helmet will come and go in front of our eyes and in 20 years time folk will be asking fundamental questions about it which could've been answered had WE captured the info...IT'S ON OUR WATCH!!

    I’ve somewhat arrogantly titled this Thread “everything you need to know”…so I bloomin’ well hope YOU know stuff!! By all means post your pics here…the single decal, the hyper-rare double-decal, the ol’ “droop tail”…errrr….actually, scrub that.....that’s the other lot……the boring lot

    It looks like it was introduced in the late "noughties"...and it's replacement (Virtus / Cobra / Revision / still-not-called-the-Mk8) seems to have arrived in 2015..and, according to a UK dealer last week, "they're still illegal to own". They're yellow, there doesn't seem to have been any in-service tweaks...no Mk7As etc.....they came in a small box with a "comfort pack" being available...to be honest there's more on here about the covers that went on the bloody things than the helmet itself yet this is THE helmet which saw our chaps through an entire campaign of nearly 10 years in Afghan.....and it's drifting away from consciousness as we speak.....errr.....as we type (if someone can turn the volume up on "Land of Hope and Glory" now please whilst I prepare for my very best Gary Oldman style speech )...but it's OUR helmet....in OUR time...we can't let this icon (?) disappear without collecting and sharing as much as we can about it...right here....right now.......(fade music now please)

    Who made them? where? out of what? what are the key dates? are there any variants? were Para variants looked at? where's the visor? did any have "Champagne" decals? why aren't there green ones? where do all the AC900 variants fit, why aren't ALL Mk7-shaped helmets called Mk7s? What did squaddies do with all that Sniper Tape before they got the Mk7? Why were they better than the PECOCs? why are the AC's dated well before the actual 7's came out? why don't they wear them on TVs "Our Girl"? why do they seem to be easier to obtain than Mk6As? which African country will be wearing them in 5 years time? does anyone give a toss?...all these and other questions need answering...by US!

    Now, I'm hoping that this can be THE repository for everything about this iconic (?) lid...a "one-stop-shop" as current Marketeers like to say...THE place to go about this helmet......although I quite expect folk to totally ignore it and create numerous 5-post Threads with unhelpful titles like "What have we got here"...and "My latest Compo addition" about their own particular Mk7 fact or helmet thus dispersing information over hundreds of inconsistently titled Threads (about the same thing!) allowing future members no chance of obtaining any information whatsoever unless they wade through 40+ separate Threads….about the same helmet!!!!!

    Let’s get sharing and learning……..all 4 of us !

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    Got German helmet! see

    - - ------- - -

    m40? decal?

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    Nice little ramble Ade and make that all 5 of us how could I not answer the call and post a we bit of information that I have compiled when I sourced my one and only example some time ago so right or wrong fact or fiction lets get the ball rolling as it were..
    Now it is my understanding the Mk 7 helmet was produced by NP Aerospace and is officially known as the GS (General Service) Mark 7 combat helmet.
    The helmet was introduced in June 2009 as an UOR (urgent operational requirement). The new helmet offered the same ballistic protection as the Mk 6a helmet, but its new shape and design allowed the soldier to lie in the prone position, without the rear rim digging into his body armour and tipping the front rim over his eyes.
    It replaced the previous Mk 6a and Mk 6..
    The Mk 7 helmet is lighter than its predecessor – 1 kg instead of 1.5 kg for the Mark 6 helmet – and has better chin strapping for stability. It is produced in a new colour - tan, unlike the Mk 6A in black and Mk 6 in olive.
    It has been adopted for use abroad in such lovely arid vacationing spots in the Middle East the military seen fit to send the troops such as Afghanistan.
    The ballistic protection is measured with V-50 and for the Mk 7 it is about 650 m/s. (V-50 ) is the mean penetration velocity at this velocity, half (50%) of projectiles are expected to penetrate.)
    I have been informed the Mk 7 helmet is still in service and being used by the British army in some capacity and has not beenfully replaced by the Revision Military Batlskin Cobra as part of the Virtus program.
    This particular Mk 7 is one of the earliest models and bares a 2009 dated contract label.. It has with out a doubt had a bit of a hard life and has seen extensive use and is nicely marked on the interior and the exterior alike which has been over painted at some time during its service life to cover up writing on the exterior of the helmet body
    I did stumble on a report in one of the online Military news outlets some time ago that stated in 2014, due to a lack of adequate protection for members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces participating in the War in Eastern Ukraine,hundreds of used Mk 7 helmets were purchased from the MOD in the UK, and were issued and used by Ukrainian servicemen; together with the earlier Mk 6 and Mk 6a. the Mk 7 helmet was extremely popular among Ukrainian military personnel, creating a high demand for it this could possibly account for low numbers reaching the marketplace...
    I have as of yet not been able to substantiate this report so only speculation but an interesting point of discussion as I do know that some surplus Canadian CG-634 compo helms were also mentioned in the same report as being sent to the Ukraine so I do consider this a possibility..

    Kind Regards Mark Kozowy
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture British Mk7 helmet - everything you need to know   British Mk7 helmet - everything you need to know  

    British Mk7 helmet - everything you need to know   British Mk7 helmet - everything you need to know  

    British Mk7 helmet - everything you need to know   British Mk7 helmet - everything you need to know  

    British Mk7 helmet - everything you need to know   British Mk7 helmet - everything you need to know  

    British Mk7 helmet - everything you need to know   British Mk7 helmet - everything you need to know  


  4. #4

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    What a brilliant start (and possible finish!)...Mark, thank you so much for your info-dump. If indeed they were only made by NPA this history Home Work may prove a lot easier than that for Mk2s, Mk3s, Mk4s, Mk5s, Mk6s and Mk6As for which I'm still not sure a definitive makers list exists. It certainly looks like the Mk7 was the only single-company helmet we've had.....

    I'm not aware of any inter-Mk7 variants although I know that local changes were made to the harness mounts at the side to facilitate a better fit with the respirators. And rings were often added to the rear for hanging...something now incorporated into the Virtus' integrated cloth cover. I did find it odd that no visors seem to exist but perhaps that was dictated by conflict-type.....that all seems to have been re-visited with Virtus. But the absence of side rail capability seemed inconsistent, especially when the US lids were becoming more and more railed-up (that IS an actual verb....look it up). A unique NVG bracket was made with spacers at the top to ensure correct positioning from the helmet and with a tell-tale wider space at the bottom.

    I know that Morgan used to market a printed (?) camo-patterned 7 but presumably following their announcement on 23/4/18 they'll be exiting that market too.....I guess they had it good for a while via the single-sourced Mk7 but then Revision came along....yet another helmet maker comes and goes (albeit they came quite a while ago in the form of Courtaulds!)

    I saw my first publicly-for-sale Mk7 (not online) at a Fair at the weekend...until then they just didn't seem to crop up at UK Fairs....perhaps I just missed 'em all

    Re Ukraine....I heard that story about Mk6s some time ago.....and why shouldn't it be true of Mk7s too....but I've been scanning News footage since then and I've yet to see a Ukrainian in a Brit plastic.

    So it sounds like the next key date for our collection here is when the last one gets withdrawn...and I'm not holding my breath for that date!...I think it's down to us to "Ask a Squaddie" this year...they (Squaddies) crop up all over the place doing demos, recruiting etc....lets get out there and ask 'em.....

    Re the history, I'd love to know what happened around the PECOC period....at one time it looked like PECOC was this years black as they say in the fashion world.....but all of a sudden they yellowed-up (another new verb) the 900 and out it came as the 7.

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    Not got a mk7 as yet but I do expect to grab one sooner rather than later as there are always quite a few on ebay these days.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

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    Great idea to have a thread serving as a repository for all things Mk7 especially as it does appear to have been somewhat ephemeral in terms of life span in service.

    @ Mark K; That is an interesting snap hook on your Mk7. It looks like it belongs there and I don't recognise it from another equipment but I have not seen it as an integral part of the Mk7 as issued. That means nothing of course as a helmet issued today might have it whilst one issued tomorrow might not and there might not even be an official circular to QMs detailing a change. It would be great if any members can shed light on that detail.

    As for the colour of the helmet shell it is quite correct that this is a reflection of the perceived likely deployment areas being largely arrid rather than the temperate zones of the Cold War. If the colour is inappropriate it is very easy these days to create a cover to suit the terrain which is routinely done anyway. Arctic white, UN blue, RN/Spec purpose black etc.

    It is correct also that the Mk7 was a massive improvement on the Mk6 / 6a in terms of comfort and ergonomics just as the Mk6 was a quantum leap from the hideously uncomfortable MkV and the Mk6a was far more comfortable than the Mk6.

    For the pupose of adding reference material to this thread I thought to mention the Mk7 specific cover.

    The earliest Mk7 used the Mk6 DPM then Mk6 UTP covers. Then a cover labelled as Mk7 but still very similar in appearance to the Mk6 with slight dimensional changes was produced in MTP until, finally the Mk7 specific item was produced and was hands down better in every way. In particular it incorporated a webbing loop with snap fastener at the rear to secure the goggle headband / elastic strap. Every soldier would have suggested this and many used safety pins or string to effect the same purpose but how long before the MOD "came up with the innovation"? It was actually issued with a little plastic bag of offcut strips of UTP cloth to use as "scrim" (I think most went straight into File 13 marked B1N) and the important details are pictured in these images;

    British Mk7 helmet - everything you need to knowBritish Mk7 helmet - everything you need to knowBritish Mk7 helmet - everything you need to knowBritish Mk7 helmet - everything you need to knowBritish Mk7 helmet - everything you need to knowBritish Mk7 helmet - everything you need to knowBritish Mk7 helmet - everything you need to know

    Regards

    Mark
    Last edited by Watchdog; 06-15-2018 at 06:50 PM. Reason: typo
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

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    Here's the tweak I saw on an in-service 7 about two years ago.

    This soldier told me it was quite a common adjustment (unofficial) which enabled the front harness straps to be moved further back on the helmet to provide a better fit for the respirator...his colleagues had made similar changes....but to date, I've yet to see one for sale with such a change

    British Mk7 helmet - everything you need to know

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    Interesting tweek Ade and not one I have seen before as to the snap hook Mark I wish I had more to share in regards to how it found its way there it was attached as so at time of purchase and looks like it has been there for eons..

    Regards Mark K

  9. #9

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    Quote by Composite View Post
    Here's the tweak I saw on an in-service 7 about two years ago.

    This soldier told me it was quite a common adjustment (unofficial) which enabled the front harness straps to be moved further back on the helmet to provide a better fit for the respirator...his colleagues had made similar changes....but to date, I've yet to see one for sale with such a change

    British Mk7 helmet - everything you need to know
    That is interesting Ade. I can see three large black 'D' rings (likely off a bergan or similar) added at the side and rear harness anchor points and a small khaki coloured on at the left side nape strap anchor (I think I can just see the edge of a 2nd on the right side) which looks like the type on Molle system pouches. Maybe I am missing something here but I can't see how these added 'D' rings allow the harness position to be changed. Did your guy explain it? It seems to me that moving the "chinstrap" part of the harness as far back as the nape strap anchor points would cause all kinds of stability, comfort and safety issues. What do you reckon?

    As an aside; the number GO7543 on the inside of the lid is the owners "Zap number" ie the first two letters of his surname and the last four digits of his service number. Zap numbers are used to identify an individual without openly giving his name, most usually in a casualty situation.

    I think most people here will recognise the abbreviation K9 as a reference to service dog units.


    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

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    Thanks Mark.....the additional short straps immediately caught my eye and he explained that they move the straps backwards for a better fit re the mask....it MUST change the Helmet dynamic as you suggest. My only regret was not asking for a demo BUT they WERE serving and that’s what they said.......don’t shoot the messenger :-)

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