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The German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW), seeking to ensure its emergency services enjoy the highest possible levels of protection and security, have chosen a ballistic titanium helmet from Ulbrichts Protection, which offers some of the highest ballistic protection of helmets currently available.

The HOPLIT F 1100 H is a titanium-aramid helmet which, in combination with the modular FORTIS shield, provides effective protection against gunfire from a Kalashnikov assault rifle. This corresponds to the test level VPAM 6 established by the Association of Test Centres for Impact-Resistant Materials and Structures, which is recognised across Europe. “Achieving effective protection against Kalashnikov gunfire, together with the requirement for the lowest possible weight, has presented us with enormous challenges,” commented Ulbrichts Managing Director, Georg Scharpenack. “The combination of titanium and aramid, combined with the development of an innovative face shield, has resulted in a major technological leap forward in protecting police officers.”

The first examples were handed over in Köln on 5 October. With a total weight of around 3.3kg – including the shield, splinter protection visor and adapter – the helmet is now fully operational and gives patrol officers the highest level of protection currently available. “We are very pleased that, as the most populous German federal state, NRW has now also selected our ballistic titanium helmets,” Mr Scharpenack added. “As a rule, patrol officers are first to arrive at incidents in their role as first responders. By choosing this helmet, NRW is setting new standards in terms of protection levels and functionality in order to protect those who are responsible for our safety.”

Ballistic helmets for police officers provide effective protection against bullet fire if they stop the projectile reliably and at the same time prevent a fatal trauma to the helmet wearer. Such a trauma can be caused by the energy transmitted by the impact of the bullet. Experts have defined a residual energy value of 25 joules and set down this value in guidelines (e.g. VPAM HVN 2009). This value must not be exceeded, otherwise irreversible or fatal head injuries can occur. The HOPLIT F 1100 H titanium-aramid helmet (VPAM 4+), in combination with the VPAM-6 FORTIS face shield, is capable of reducing the projectile energy of a Kalashnikov 7.62x39mm iron core round from more than 2,000 joules at a speed of around 720m/s to well below 25 joules. A frontal head shot is thus survivable.

 

Georg Scharpenack, CEO of Ulbrichts Protection, hands over the first ballistic titanium helmets to the Nordrhein-Westfalen police on 5 October, together with NRW Minister of the Interior, Herbert Reul. (Photo: Ulbrichts Protection)

Georg Scharpenack, CEO of Ulbrichts Protection, hands over the first ballistic titanium helmets to the Nordrhein-Westfalen police on 5 October, together with NRW Minister of the Interior, Herbert Reul. (Photo: Ulbrichts Protection)

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