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Unknown Indian Army Composite helmet (Not the M74, Orlite or new MKU)

Article about: Hi guys, I have come across an Indian Army helmet which has nothing to do with the elder fibreglass M74 that is still in use nowadays. The shape could be similar to it, but the liner is tota

  1. #1

    Question Unknown Indian Army Composite helmet (Not the M74, Orlite or new MKU)

    Hi guys, I have come across an Indian Army helmet which has nothing to do with the elder fibreglass M74 that is still in use nowadays. The shape could be similar to it, but the liner is totally different, as you can see in the pictures. The Indian SF or Paras did acquire some Israeli Orlite-201 helmets and these usually had the same camo cover as the one shown in the picture - but this helmet does not seem to be an Orlite either. Definitely is also not the new MKU ballistic helmet which has recently been acquired by the Indian Army, as this has a PASGT shape. Any ideas or info? Unknown Indian Army Composite helmet (Not the M74, Orlite or new MKU)Unknown Indian Army Composite helmet (Not the M74, Orlite or new MKU)Unknown Indian Army Composite helmet (Not the M74, Orlite or new MKU)Unknown Indian Army Composite helmet (Not the M74, Orlite or new MKU)Unknown Indian Army Composite helmet (Not the M74, Orlite or new MKU)

  2. #2

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    By amazing coincidence our man Composite asked me about this just a few days ago. I put an hour or so into researching it and came up with nothing certain. This is not, as you say Philip, either an M74 or anything by MKU, and the liner is to say the least unusual, and not one I;d expect in a country that can be hot and humid - though up in the Kashmiri highlands it would perhaps be a good thing.

    I found a number of photographs quite obviously showing this helmet in use, but nothing sufficiently detailed. Here are some links I found that you may find useful (also just google 'indian army helmet' and choose Images to see more. Yes, maybe obvious but worth reminding.)

    Military Helmets at Best Price in India

    Olive Green And Khakhi Army Helmet, Rs 400 /piece, Kent Army Store | ID: 15091493933

    Military Helmet, Military Helmets | Sadar Bazaar, Delhi | Agarwal Army & General Store | ID: 20869020955

    Military Helmets for Soldiers Deployed in Combat Operations

    After decades of wait, Indian Army finally gets modern Bullet-Proof Ballistic Helmets - YoungBites

    https://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...r-cover.55396/
    useful background knowledge perhaps

    https://www.quora.com/Why-does-the-I...the-bygone-era
    (which refers to a few known models)

  3. #3

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    I have come across many photographs of Indian troops with this particular helmet/chinstrap/cover combination. The seller has been marketing the helmet as an M74/12, an upgraded variant of the M74. However, even the shape is different from the original M74, and the brim of this example is significantly shorter. I did see photos of Indian Orlite-201s with the same cover, but again the shape is different. Then there's the liner. It could be a variant used up in the mountain passes - but I doubt whether it could be worn over a turban.

  4. #4

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    This is an interesting debate.....although it should be noted that turbans are not universal in India.....a lot of Indians don’t wear Turbans

  5. #5

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    I know, but I wanted to imply is that probably its use was not widespread throughout the Army. Perhaps it was also due to the fact the Indian Army failed to understand the need for a more radical upgrade to their soldiers' combat gear and helmets... and this issue was highlighted in many Indian press articles I read when searching for info on this helmet model. It seems that this helmet and the Orlite were a stop-gap measure until the introduction of the more advanced MKU helmets.

  6. #6

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    They're certainly being worn by some parts of the India Army at least..though the inside seems to come in a number of colours...grey, black and Khaki

    Unknown Indian Army Composite helmet (Not the M74, Orlite or new MKU)Unknown Indian Army Composite helmet (Not the M74, Orlite or new MKU)

    ...and photos seem to support it

    India and China in 'hand-in-hand' combat! - Rediff.com India News

    My gut feel at the moment is that it's not THE helmet...or not a "proper" one....training?....limited to certain regiments or roles?...but the pics seem to be of the same lid.

  7. #7
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    Greetings everyone,

    I know this is a late reply to this thread but I came across an exciting video showing this helmet model being made (refurbished) in India. It is indeed an Indian M74 helmet that has been stripped and has a newer foam & cloth inner, including a camo cloth cover. It's rare to find videos like this showing a helmet being made and I hope this helps fellow collectors as well. I recently purchased an M74 from India, I was so happy with the helmet ordered I bought one of these models refurbished as well.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkaRFqiPPZw&list=WL

    Best regards,

    -Jack

  8. #8

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    Some screengrabs from this very good little video were featured on Mannie Gentile's helmet blog a while back - he has an interesting and varied collection and it is well worth browsing through -

    Mannie Gentile: Combat Helmets of the 20th Century: Search results for india

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